Aviation Finance

Our Aviation Financing Group is a recognised market leader in international cross-border asset financing and leasing transactions. We consistently provide our clients with specialist advice on cutting-edge deals.

Our expertise:

Ireland is a global hub for the leasing and financing of aircraft, with nine of the world’s top ten lessors headquartered here. Half of the world’s leased fleet is managed out of Ireland – in fact, every two seconds, it is estimated that an Irish leased aircraft takes off somewhere in the world. Every year, the Aviation industry contributes more than €4billion to the Irish economy. Our Aviation Financing team plays a key role in this economically important sector, advising a host of the biggest names in the Aviation industry. We have advised our clients on some of the largest, most high profile, and complex transactions that have taken place in the market.

We advise operating lessors, lenders, expert credit agencies, airlines finance lessors and lessees on all aspects of aviation finance in Ireland. We have significant experience in portfolio securitisations, syndicated financing, aviation-related joint ventures, portfolio sales/acquisitions, leveraged lease structures and tax-based leasing. Of significance, our aviation finance practice focusses primarily on lead transaction counsel roles (as opposed to local counsel roles) and is regarded as being one of, if not the, leading aviation finance practice in Ireland.

Key areas:

  • Acting for international and domestic aircraft owners, lessors and financiers on all aspects of cross-border aircraft financing and leasing, including secured lending, portfolio securitisation, portfolio acquisitions, company acquisitions and restructurings
  • Advising on the establishment and operation of aviation joint ventures
  • Drafting and negotiating leasing, purchase, sale and finance documentation in respect of aircraft-owning SPVs, aircraft, aircraft engines and parts
  • Acting as advisers to a wide variety of financial institutions, lessors and lessees in relation to domestic and cross-border tax-based leasing transactions
  • Advising foreign and domestic aircraft owners and lessors on the registration of aircraft on the Irish register, operating aircraft in Ireland and establishing aircraft facilities in Ireland
  • Acting for a wide range of aircraft lessors in connection with the reorganisation of substantial parts of their fleets and the restructuring of their portfolios
  • Advising in relation to the Cape Town Convention
  • Working with colleagues in our Disputes Group in relation to aircraft repossessions

Key highlights include advising:

  • AerCap in relation to its US$7.6billion acquisition of ILFC from AIG, its US$2.6billion bond issuance and the reorganisation and transfer of the majority of the ILFC fleet (approximately 900 aircraft) into Ireland. The deal was then the largest M&A deal in the aviation industry
  • Ex-Im Bank in respect of all Irish law aspects of their backed financing in respect of 37 Boeing aircrafts
  • Hong Kong Aviation Capital, as Irish counsel, on a number of financings in respect of aircraft leases to Azul, Jetstar, Sri Lankan Airlines and Volaris
  • Jetscape in its Eagle 1 securitisation of 22 Embraer aircraft
  • SAS on their decision to obtain and Irish Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (AOC) which also involves setting up of a separate platform for SAS in Ireland to hold the AOC
  • SMBC Aviation Capital in relation to its sale of $500million of 2.65% senior unsecured notes due 2021
  • Transaction counsel to Standard Chartered Bank/Pembroke on the majority of their most significant recent transactions
  • SMBC Aviation Capital in relation to the issue and sale by SMBC Aviation Capital Limited DAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of SMBC Aviation Capital, of $500 million of 3.00% senior unsecured notes due July 2022. 

Key contacts

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