The incident happened aboard an Emirates flight to the Indian industrial hub Hyderabad on Friday. The Dubai-based carrier said crew members discovered the passenger shortly before the plane began its descent, and "administered all the necessary treatment onboard" before handing him off to a medical team on the ground.
According to police and the hospital workers in India, the 30-year-old man had been working as a draftsman in Dubai and attempted suicide by slicing into his neck, ankles and wrists just before the flight landed.
"There is no clarity so far as to why he attempted to commit suicide," Hyderabad police inspector Amaragani Krishnaiah said.
The man remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday, surrounded by family members but unable to speak because of a feeding tube in his throat, according to Dr. Ravi Shankar, a critical care specialist in the Indian city.
Emirates said the plane returned to Dubai for maintenance without passengers onboard following the incident. The government-owned carrier is the Middle East's largest airline.
Neither the airline nor Indian officials said what the passenger used to cut himself. Emirates declined to comment further, saying the incident is under investigation.
Dubai is the commercial center of the United Arab Emirates and is home to the Middle East's busiest airport.
The UAE population is dominated by millions of guest workers and their families, who far outnumber the local Emirati population.
Indians make up the largest share of the expatriate population, with 1.75 million Indian citizens working there, according to the Indian Embassy. Most are employed in the construction industry and other blue-collar jobs, though there are also large numbers of Indian professionals and businesspeople in the country.
Associated Press writer Chonchui Ngashangva contributed reporting from New Delhi.