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Airline Pilots Federation Will Pressure Algeria to Return Passengers, Crew, Plane

The International Federation of Airline Pilots Association will attempt this week to apply pressure to the Algerian Government for the release of 12 Israeli passengers and 10 crew members of a hijacked $6 million El Al airliner being confined in Algeria. The Association told the JTA that the two emissaries, leaving for Algeria on Friday, will tell authorities there bluntly that if the pilots and passengers are not released forthwith, Algeria would be boycotted by federation members — in other words, international airlines would not be able to fly to Algeria. The emissaries will be Capt. J.J. O’Grady of Ireland, Association vice president, and Capt. O.L.A. Forsberg, a Finnish pilot who is a member of the Association council. Algerian pilots do not belong to the Association, but Israeli pilots do.

London newspapers, meanwhile, carried strong editorials today demanding an end to air piracy. The Daily Express said instant international action must be taken to end hijacking and said Algeria’s airline, Air Algerie, should be banned from every airport within jurisdiction of governments who supported the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “The airlines of any nation failing to cooperate in this should also have their membership of IATA ended and should be denied landing rights,” the Express asserted, adding that there is no question of tolerating protracted negotiations in order to put right a ‘gross violation of international law.”

(Meanwhile, the Israeli Government continued using every available diplomatic means to get the passengers, crew and plane out of Algeria. She reportedly was seeking aid through Britain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland. France turned down her request for intercession. There is hope in Government circles that these countries would suspend air service to Algeria if she refuses to free the Israelis and the plane.)

(Algeria was ready to release the five women — including two hostesses — and children who were aboard the airliner, according to a report received in Washington.)

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