A couple were on a plane to Australia, when they found out their grandson was dying.

A pilot has been praised for grounding his plane at the last minute so an elderly couple could make it to the beside of their dying grandson.

The couple had already boarded their flight to Australia when they received a text message from their son-in-law telling them the child was in intensive care, Manchester Evening News reports.

They immediately sought the help of the cabin crew on board the Etihad aircraft, who then contacted the pilot.

Even though the plane was already in motion on the runway, he managed to do a U-turn and stop it before it took off.

By the time the couple departed and collected their luggage, airline staff had their car waiting for them at the entrance of the terminal.

Sadly their grandson died the next day, but they at least managed to say farewell.

Several people have since taken to the Etihad Facebook page to congratulate the pilot for his “big heart”.

The story was first shared by the couple’s travel agent Becky Stevenson on a popular Facebook group, Travel Gossip.

“It was such a sad thing that happened to my clients, but it was lovely that Etihad was able to help in the way they did,” she wrote.

“They were on their way to Abu Dhabi so if they hadn’t been able to get off the plane they may not have made it back in time.”