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.
Advising Bain Capital on its acquisition of Virgin Australia (in administration)
on its institutional fundraising and access to the UK Government's Covid facility
on the sale of the European business of LSG Group to Swiss airline caterer, gategroup
Advising easyJet, the leading UK airline, on the c. US$1.87 bn. billion secured financing facility from a syndicate of British, European and American banks supported by an Export Development Guarantee (EDG) issued by UK Export Finance. This was the first ever secured EDG executed by UK Export Finance for an airline
BREXIT STRUCTURING ISSUES
Several UK airlines on the implications of Brexit for the UK aviation industry, in particular in respect of access to traffic rights to/from and within the EU, advice on potential new corporate and regulatory structures that would enable UK airlines to retain access to EU negotiated traffic rights and the ECAA and advice in relation to lobbying the UK Government
Two leading airlines on the securitisation financing of their take-off and landing slot portfolios at London Heathrow – including the first time that UK landing slots had been subject to a securitisation