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El Al Flight Plans to France

El Al president Mordechai Ben Ari said here today that the Israeli airline would make its choice next month on whether to purchase the European Airbus or a Lockheed model for its medium-range flights. He spoke at a press conference to report on his visit to lay the groundwork for an agreement under which El Al could introduce the same type of inexpensive “vacation fare” on its service to France as it has on lines to the U.S. beginning Nov. I.

France is Israel’s second largest tourism source after the U.S. and the vacation class fare could increase travel to Israel from this major West European Jewish center, Ben Ari said. Agreement could be reached at the end of this year if Air France agrees to convert some of its own aircraft to vacation fare seating. The two companies operate between France and Israel under a pooling arrangement.

Ben Ari described as idiotic and irresponsible a suggestion in the Paris newspaper Le Monde that two French policemen who died during an Arab attack on El Al at Orly airport May 20 may have been hit by stray bullets from El Al security men. The French Interior Ministry also discounted the Le Monde story and said there was no doubt whatsoever that the two Frenchmen died from Arab bullets. The three attackers were killed by French and Israeli security men but several passengers were injured in the attack.

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