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Air France Backs out on Plan to Share Trans-atlantic Jets with El Al

January 5, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Air France, the French national airlines, has unexpectedly decided to drop its negotiations with E1 A1, the Israel National Airlines, for trans-Atlantic cooperation in the use of jet plans on the route. Israeli newspapers described the action as “a blow to Israel” and expressed the view that Air France would not have taken this step without the approval of the French Foreign Ministry.

(In Paris today, August Jordan of the French Foreign Ministry, in a meeting with the Israeli Charge d’Affaires, Mordechal Shneerson, expressed surprise at the extent and tenor of the Israeli press reaction. He termed the Air France action strictly a matter between Air France and E1 A1 and said that the Foreign Ministry had no part in it.)

Both the main office of E1 A1 and the Air France branch here maintained a “no comment” attitude on the development. Paris and local aviation sources, however, report that E1 A1 had approached the French airline with a proposal that Air France use its Jets for E1 A1 passengers. Air France reportedly was strongly interested and an agreement seemed nearly concluded when the E1 A1 main office received a letter giving the air line’s decision to drop the negotiations.

It was reported that Air France said that because of its association with the Air Union, the consent of all other members would be required for such an arrangement. It was learned, however, that other members did not object to the idea and it was therefore assumed that Air France was following the precedent of Regie Renault, the French auto firm which cancelled its contract for assemblies at the Kaiser-Frazer plant in Halin recently under Arab boycott pressure.

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