ACE Belgium Freighters (FRH, Liège) is changing its name to Challenge Airlines BE (X7, Liège) to settle a trademark dispute so that it can operate to the United States.

ACE Belgium Freighters was given its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by Belgian authorities in April 2019 and in May that year was given tentative approval from the US Department of Transport (DoT) to begin scheduled and charter services to the United States. This was scuppered by Alaska Central Express (KO, Anchorage Ted Stevens), which asked the DoT to halt the process because of alleged trademark infringement.

On June 12 this year, ACE Belgium Freighters petitioned the DoT for a new foreign air carrier permit under the Challenge Airlines name. In its application, the carrier said the DoT had in May 2019 “tentatively approved issuance of ACE Belgium Freighters’ foreign air carrier permit, but has not yet taken action to issue the permit. ACE Belgium Freighters’ name change to Challenge Airlines (BE) SA will become effective on or about June 15, 2020.”

“Challenge Airlines (BE) SA is the new corporate name that ACE Belgium Freighters intends to use on its services in foreign air transportation to and from the United States. ACE Belgium Freighters has registered its new name (Challenge Airlines [BE] SA) in Belgium, and the name change has been published in the Belgian Official Gazette,” the application said. The Belgian civil aviation authority is in the process of re-issuing ACE Belgium Freighters’ AOC.

ACE Belgium in mid-2019 launched commercial operations using a single B747-400(F), with an initial focus on operating from Liège to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. It had aimed to launch services to the United States with four weekly flights from Liège to New York JFK, and a weekly service to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson.

The airline says it operates daily international scheduled cargo flights and charter services carrying general and non-standard cargo from its main base at Liège Airport. Its fleet comprises one B747-400(BCF), OO-ACE (msn 24227), and B747-400(ERF) OO-ACF (msn 35169).

The sale of its capacity is managed via the airline’s commercial entity Challenge Aircargo, which has opened offices in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.