Court orders Bangladesh's United Airways to repaint fleet

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Bangladeshi carrier United Airways has been ordered to repaint its fleet and change its brand after a court case brought by US major United Airlines.

Lawyers for United Airlines said the Dhaka-based operator had "illegally violated" its trademark and wrongly associated its services with those of the Star Alliance giant.

Intellectual property barristers' chambers Three New Square stated that the small airline had been ordered by a UK court on 24 June to repaint its seven aircraft within 35 days and change its name in the UK, where it has an office, in 30 days.

United Airways had "wrongly passed off their airline, airline services, and airline ticketing services as being those of - or associated or connected with, or authorised or approved by - United Airlines", said Three New Square.

The problem had arisen as a result of United Airways' services to London which, it was argued, could have confused passengers expecting to fly with United Airlines.

 united airways
 © United Airways

The Bangladeshi carrier was started up about three years ago and has just taken a second ATR 72 turboprop, giving it a fleet of seven aircraft which also includes an Airbus A310, two Boeing MD-83s and two Bombardier Dash 8s.

Its aircraft feature a dissimilar livery to that of United Airlines, carrying a rainbow floral handprint logo on the fin, although the fuselage prominently displays the word 'United' in English on one side.

United Airways could not immediately be reached to comment on the case.