Pan Am and Aeroflot both started service JFK
in 1968 after many years of negotiations. PA operated via CPH
operated via YUL
. The first North America-Soviet Union direct air service was between YUL
in 1966. SU
each operated once a week, AC
with a DC-8 via CPH
, and SU
using the huge 4-engine turboprop Tupolev-114, based on the Tu-95 "Bear" long-range bomber. It was roughly the size of a stretched DC-8-61/63.
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Photo © Robert Roggeman
When the US and Soviet Union finally negotiated a bilateral in 1968, SU
extended their existing YUL
service to JFK
but by then they had introduced the Ilyushin-62 jet. It's inaugural international route for SU
in 1967 was SVO
. The story was that the Soviets stalled on agreeing to direct service to/from the USA until they had a longhaul jet more competitive with the 707 and DC-8.
's operation to Moscow didn't last very long, a couple of years or so. It wasn't profitable and they dropped it but SU
Pan Am suspended service to Moscow in 1978 which had also never been profitable. They reinstated service in 1986.
TIME magazine article from July 1968 re the new JFK
service just about to begin: