Swiftair (WT, Madrid Barajas) has asked the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny Swift Air (United States of America) (WQ, Greensboro) motion to block the Spanish carrier's expansion into the United States market, saying the similarity of the names would not lead to confusion among the customers.

Swift Air had earlier argued with the DOT that the Spanish cargo and charter specialist should not be granted a foreign air carrier permit (FACP) given the nearly identical names of both companies and their business models which may pit them against each other in direct competition.

However, Swift Air has denied such a possibility.

"The registration of the name and grant of Swiftair's authority will not result in a significant potential for, or actual, public confusion; and any potential, or actual, confusion may be fully resolved by Swiftairs's proposed registration of a d/b/a name for its US market should the Department deem such registration necessary or advisable," the Spanish airline has said.

Furthermore, it also believes that the legal basis on which Swift Air had based its objections is not a valid ground for delaying the DOT's decision.

Arguing in details, Swiftair has said that the geographical areas of operations of both carriers are not overlapping, thus reducing the risk of confusion. On top of that, it has argued that since both airlines operate cargo charters which are contracted by companies with a knowledge of the industry, they would be aware of the distinction between the airlines.

"Applicant's [Swiftair's] current operations are mostly in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while Swift Air seems to be operating within the United States and between the Southeastern United States and Central America, South America and the Caribbean," the Spanish carrier has said.

Swiftair is, however, ready to operate in the US under a separate brand.

In its application for an FACP filed in February, Swiftair applied to the DOT for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) and Exemption Authority, saying that it intends to operate E120ER equipment "in conjunction with its contemplated services to the United States".

The US carrier has, however, argued that such services could directly overlap with its own cargo charters, as Swiftair could eventually deploy it B737 freighters in the US. Swift Air has also pointed out that both companies have identical customers and potential customers, including DHL, UPS, and FedEx.

Spain's Swiftair's currently employs cargo equipment including five ATR42-300(F)s, one -300(QC), ten ATR72-200(F)s, one -500(F), one B737-300(F), seven B737-400(F)s, and ten EMB-120 freighters in different subtypes. For its part, Arizona-based Swift Air currently deploys a single full-freighter B737-300(F), as well as two passenger-configured B737-300s, fourteen B737-400s, and six B737-800s.