ACE Belgium Freighters to change name to Challenge Airlines

By Damian Brett

The Challenge Airlines B747-412BCF at Liege Airport

All-cargo operator ACE Belgium Freighters is changing its name to Challenge Airlines.

In files submitted to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the carrier requested that its exemption authority be re-issued under the new name and that its foreign air carrier permit is issued at the earliest convenience.

The carrier was last year in a dispute over the ACE name with Alaska Central Express.

On May 2 2019, the Liege-based airline was given tentative approval by the DOT to start scheduled and charter services between the European Union and the US.

However, on May 17, Alaska Central Express wrote to the DOT to inform the organisation that it has requested that ACE Belgium immediately discontinue its plans to provide air cargo services under the name ACE in the US because of an alleged trademark infringement.

Since then, the airline had not been issued with its foreign air carrier permit.

Alaska Central Express said in its complaint: “There is a high likelihood that consumers will believe, mistakenly, that ACE Belgium’s services in the United States originate from, are sponsored or endorsed by, or are otherwise associated with ACE.

“While ACE wishes to resolve this matter with ACE Belgium on an amicable basis, should the carrier persist in its use of the ACE name for its planned US air cargo services, ACE respectfully suggests that DOT should be prepared to bring enforcement action against ACE Belgium for unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition due to the significant potential for, or actual, confusion between the two carriers among the shipping public.”

Challenge Airlines plans to operate services between Europe and the US using B747 freighter capacity.

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