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Unrivalled global aviation expertise

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We have extensive experience advising across the aviation sector. Our practice is multi-disciplinary and includes lawyers from our corporate, finance, disputes and competition, regulation and trade teams, which guarantees that we can deal with any technical complexity or depth of work.

We have substantial experience advising a broad range of operators in the sector, such as airlines, airports, insurers, finance providers, service provides, leasing companies and regulatory bodies to provide cross-border, full-service legal and regulatory advice. Our lawyers collaborate to address a broad range of legal issues, including regulatory matters, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, aircraft finance, structured finance and leasing and litigation.

We have been helping many market participants respond to this period of unprecedented disruption caused to the aviation and travel industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such responses have involved accessing new and existing loan facilities, government support, as well as equity capital markets, acquisitions; disposals and negotiations with suppliers and creditors.

We fully understand the regulations in place governing airlines and those in the wider field of aviation. We are at the forefront of advising on complex regulatory and structural issues and have acted for a number of airlines on matters relating to ownership, control requirements and traffic rights including in the context of Brexit.  It is our ability to balance this understanding with our clients desire to exploit greater commercial freedom that allows us to successfully advise on a broad range of matters in this sector. 

In terms of aircraft leasing, we have represented airlines, equity providers, sponsors, owners, arrangers, debt providers, residual value providers, defeasance institutions and other participants in a wide range of aircraft finance transactions, including domestic and cross-border debt and finance/capital and operating leases.

Our airport experts have worked together for many years across all aspects of airport projects, representing all types of clients, including advising infrastructure owners and operators, institutional investors, airlines, airport sponsors, financiers, government authorities and contractors on the complexities and nuances of aviation projects, and related disputes.

See related information on our Infrastructure and Leisure and Sport sectors.

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Recent Experience

A Number Of Airlines on secured debt transactions

Advising since 2006 in relation to numerous secured debt transactions (including ECA supported debt), aircraft operating lease transactions, aircraft sale and leaseback transactions, aircraft sales, Boeing and Airbus purchase agreements, pre-delivery payment financings, aircraft wet leasing, aircraft subleasing (both intra-group and to a US airline), engine pooling, parts pooling, engine leasing, simulator financing, ground services equipment leasing, power by the hour arrangements, merchant acquiring facilities, receivables facilities and aircraft remarketing arrangements

Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic

on the provision of new funding to Virgin Atlantic as part of its Covid related restructuring

VIRGIN ATLANTIC

on the creation of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM

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Insights and updates

25th October 2021
With mounting pressure to slash emissions and limited options for ESG-friendly financing, an embattled industry...
25th May 2021
In June 2020, we published a briefing in which we examined the recent developments in...
18th January 2021
The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020 and the transition period ended...
16th September 2020
As the UK's Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act ushers in far-reaching reforms, we assess the...

Our Capabilities

Our expert teams provide a diverse range of legal services to our clients in the Aviation sector

Diverse Knowledge, in-depth experience

Learn more about how we help our clients in

Infrastructure

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Related news and deals

07 July 2022

Herbert Smith Freehills and Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung advise 13 lessors on US$13.8 billion debt restructuring of Garuda Indonesia