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Aviation

Unrivalled global aviation expertise

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.

AVIATION FINANCE NOTES - Visit and subscribe to our blog where you will find regular know-how updates on key developments across international aviation finance and the broader aviation sector.

Learn more about how we help our clients in

Infrastructure

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Recent Experience

Bain Capital

Advising Bain Capital on its acquisition of Virgin Australia (in administration)

Jet2

on its institutional fundraising and access to the UK Government's Covid facility

Lufthansa

on the sale of the European business of LSG Group to Swiss airline caterer, gategroup

EASYJET

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

SLOTS SECURITISATIONS

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

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...
16th September 2020
As the UK's Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act ushers in far-reaching reforms, we assess the...
19th June 2020
As pressure builds on polluting industries, ESG factors will play an increasingly critical role in...

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Our Capabilities

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

Diverse Knowledge, in-depth experience

Related news and deals

26 July 2021

Herbert Smith Freehills associate Amanda Teoh named 'Airfinance Journal' rising star