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Pan Am, Aeroflot Join in Tourism Venture

February 10, 1988|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Pan Am Corp. announced Tuesday that it has entered into an a joint tourism venture with Aeroflot, the Soviet airlines, to bring U.S. tourists to the Soviet Union.

Pan Am, which operates Pan American World Airways, said the partnership between the two airlines is designed to provide U.S. tour operators with easier access to air and ground facilities for travel to the Soviet Union. An estimated 100,000 Americans are expected to visit the Soviet Union this year, Pan Am said.

Pan Am's Commercial Services subsidiary has joined with Aeroflot to form the Soviet-Pan Am Travel Effort, or SPATE, which will market flights, hotels and other tourist facilities in the Soviet Union to U.S. travel agents and tour operators. The new entity will be based in New York.

Pan Am named James L. Fannan, an executive of a tour operator company and a former marketing official with Pan Am, as the managing partner for SPATE in the United States.

As part of the plan, Pan Am and Aeroflot will jointly market and operate new nonstop Boeing 747 flights between New York and Moscow, set to begin on May 14. The Pan Am planes will be staffed by Pan Am pilots and cabin crews, while Aeroflot will place flight attendants on board to serve as interpreters and provide "identification" for the Soviet carrier.

Of the 100,000 Americans expected to travel to the Soviet Union this year, about 15,000 will be handled by SPATE, Fannan said in a statement.

He said negotiations have been completed with Intourist, the official Soviet travel agency, for tour arrangements to accommodate more than 14,000 group tourists, as well as the leasing of 50 twin-bedd rooms for a year at the Intourist Hotel in Moscow for individual tourists.

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