The Soviet airline Aeroflot will begin service Sunday to Anchorage and San Francisco from its eastern city of Khabarovsk, officials said.

"We are proud to be the first air carrier to offer direct Pacific service connecting our two great Pacific Rim nations," Alexei N. Goryashko, first deputy minister of Soviet commercial aviation, said Saturday.When an Aeroflot jet touched down at Miami International Airport on April 28, it marked the first time in 20 years that the airline had a scheduled passenger flight land anywhere in the United States outside of Washington, D.C., or New York, the airline said.

The Soviet national airline's new flights are part of the Soviet push to open society to new influences and to gain precious hard currency to finance reforms in the Soviet economy.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is to start regular service next month from Seattle and Anchorage to Soviet cities Khabarovsk and Magadan.