Airlines: Direct Link

It was first proposed in 1935, after Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's flight to Moscow. It was included in a Soviet-U.S. cultural-exchange agreement in 1958. Then came a decade of talks, suspended whenever the cold war temperature dropped to chilly or freezing. Finally, this week, the first Moscow-New York commercial flight was set to take off.

Loaded with aviation officials and pressmen, the Soviet Union's huge Aeroflot jetliner, the Ilyushin-62, was scheduled to land at New York's Kennedy Airport after a stopover in Montreal. Total time: 12 hr. 40 min. A few...