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El Al Flies Non-stop to Moscow

An El Al Boeing 757 made history Monday on the first-ever direct flight carrying immigrants from Moscow to Tel Aviv.

Officially, the plane was carrying more than 100 members of Habimah, Israel’s national theater, to Moscow for a two-week tour of the Soviet Union, where it was founded some 70 years ago.

But on the return flight, the plane, which El Al had said would fly back to Israel empty, carried 15 Jewish immigrants, the first ever to be flown directly from Moscow to Tel Aviv.

There was a certain risk in the venture, inasmuch as the Soviet authorities have not yet ratified an agreement for direct flights, which El Al reached over a month ago with the Soviet national airline, Aeroflot. But no one interfered with the last-minute boarding.

Meanwhile, Habimah will be performing in Hebrew in Moscow and other Soviet cities. The troupe consists more than 100 actors, stagehands and managers. There is also an interpreter, who will provide the audiences with simultaneous translation to Russian.