Fine dining, large seats, and pleasant service. Times of the past, a brighter day when the new jet planes designed for soaring amongst the clouds were formed around luxury and care. Back when competition fostered quality air travel as airliners fought tooth and nail to keep loyal customers flying. With international flight becoming more and more regular for a modern world, and Detente between the Soviet Union and the United States, air travel was about to get a lot more interesting.
On December 3, 1967, a Pan American Boeing 707 landed at Sheremetyevo Airport, one of the major airports that served the capital city of Moscow. The flight originated from New York and carried various American officials into the Soviet Union. One of which was Vice-President of Pan American Airways Samuel Miller. Miller was sent to ensure the smooth cooperation for the new direct flight between New York and Moscow. This flight was just the beginning of a new era between America’s Pan Am and the Soviet service Aeroflot. This test flight was the last, and soon after the go-ahead was given, regular flights, once a week in the winter and twice in the summer, would begin between the two countries in January of 1968.
Life Magazine with articles covering the new direct flight between the two countries
As Aeroflot became more and more important to the cultural expansion of the Soviet Union, its range of mobility was destined to expand. By 1970, Aeroflot had flights traveling to Japan, to Europe, and even a newly created trans-Siberian route that utilized new radio communications for important weather information. The Soviet press expressed its vast growth, “Aeroflot’s share in all world air transport operations amounts to about 25%. Its airplanes carry as many as 400, 000 passengers a day in summer.”
It is ironic that during the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, Pan Am would be the airliner unable to survive the modernizing air travel industry. Aeroflot proved resilient to the collapse and is still Russia’s number one airliner. It’s kind of funny how capitalism and the free market ultimately led to the failure of Pan Am, while Aeroflot survived due to its communist upbringing and its control over the Soviet airline market….