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Aviation Finance & Leasing

Kaye Scholer’s Aviation Finance & Leasing Practice comprises a deep bench of nationally and internationally recognized senior lawyers adept at guiding deal participants through complex domestic, cross-border and multijurisdictional transactions. Our extensive and longstanding relationships with key players in the aviation market (leading commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions, airlines, aircraft operating lessors, aircraft and engine manufacturers and their leasing/finance subsidiaries, private equity and hedge funds) enable us to bring intimate knowledge and a deep understanding of global markets to assist aviation sector clients with their domestic and international transactions.

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Capabilities: How We Do It

International airline representation, including airlines based in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America, on aviation financing and leasing transactions.

Structured finance and securitization, in which we represent major lenders, issuers, underwriters, senior and subordinate investors, servicers, trustees and credit enhancement providers in a wide range of securitizations, including securitizations of aircraft portfolios and aircraft leases.

Financing, including secured mortgage, PDP and Ex-Im Bank/ECA financings. Our lawyers have worked with Ex-Im Bank and other Export Credit Agencies, including Germany’s Euler Hermes, France’s COFACE, the UK’s ECGD, Canada’s EDC and Brazil’s BNDES on numerous transactions involving secured lending supported by such ECAs. We have also advised numerous banks and financial institutions as lenders in aircraft financing matters.

Warehouse financing facilities, including representation of the lenders in warehouse lending facilities secured by pools of aircraft and the related leases. Aircraft financed under these facilities are frequently refinanced through capital markets transactions. Key representations have included the structuring and restructuring of facilities of this type for aircraft lessors AerCap and Avolon.

Acquisitions of and investments in aircraft, engines and parts and acquisitions and dispositions of portfolios of aircraft loans. Recent experience includes representation of a major financial institution in its acquisition of a portfolio of 27 commercial aircraft-secured loans and the subsequent securitization or sales of certain of the acquired aircraft-secured loans.

Leasing, including operating, tax-based leveraged and cross-border leases. Key clients include bank affiliated leasing units, leasing companies and airlines.

Complex tax structuring, in connection with cross-border aircraft finance and leasing transactions, investment transactions and airline restructurings and insolvency, representing the owners of capital assets in connection with debt, equity and tax indemnity claims.

Private equity investment funds, where we advise on structure, formation, and dispositions of funds to invest in aircraft, including complex tax-driven structures, and subsequently, in sales, purchases and ongoing management of aircraft portfolios.

Bankruptcy and restructuring matters, with particular strength representing the owners of capital assets in debt/equity conflicts, restructuring investments, general and tax indemnity claims, litigation and/or settlements of such claims and trading of claims in bankruptcy proceedings. Select matters include the American Airlines, Delta and Varig bankruptcies.

Corporate jet transactions, including acquisitions, financing, fractional interest, time sharing, card membership programs and private jet fleet expansion. Key corporate aircraft clients include manufacturers, corporations, fleet operators and high-net-worth individuals.

EETC transactions, including representation of British Airways in its first-ever offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates, a deal that was awarded Innovative Deal of the Year 2013 by AirFinance Journal.