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Aviation team advises on multiple winning deals at Airfinance Journal Awards and Aviation 100 Awards

Global News May 2022

Our international aviation team has been recognized for advising on six winning deals at this year's Airfinance Journal Global Awards and advising on five winning deals at the 11th annual Aviation 100 Deals of the Year Awards.

Airfinance Journal is a leading publication covering the global aircraft finance market. The annual awards celebrate best-in-class aviation finance deals, while recognizing the organizations and teams that played central roles. The winning deals at the Airfinance Journal Awards include: 

Asia-Pacific Deal of the Year – Philippine Airlines' pre-negotiated Chapter 11 Cross-border restructuring

Our lawyers advised Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) as special aircraft counsel in its consensual restructuring, which was implemented in PAL's Chapter 11 plan. This is the first-ever pre-negotiated Chapter 11 restructuring by an airline. The team was led by partner Singapore partner Keith Sandilands and New York partner David Rosenzweig.

Environmental/ESG leadership Deal of the Year – Air France’s $111m A350-900 Balthazar-backed sustainability-linked senior secured loan

We acted for Société Générale, the mandated lead arranger and lender, in negotiating and drafting the financing documentation in this matter. This was a landmark and innovative financing as it was the first sustainability-linked aircraft-secured term loan provided to an airline. The team was led by Paris partner George Paterson.

Europe Deal of the Year – Turkish Airlines US Ex-Im Bank French Lease for nine 737 Max and three GEnx engines

We advised BNP Paribas, Citibank, Bank of America, and Caixabank on the US EXIM Bank-supported transaction involving a French-optimized lease financing of nine 737 Max aircraft and three GEnx engines for Turkish Airlines. The team was led by partner George Paterson.

Latin America Deal of the Year – Avianca $482m sale and leaseback for 27 aircraft

Our lawyers represented Castlelake in the sale and lease back of six A330 freight aircraft to Avianca. The team were involved in the documentation and negotiation of all transaction documents as well as the subsequent closings. The team was led by partner New York  partner and US Head of Aviation Alyssa Vazquez.

Structured Lease Deal of the Year – Turkish Airlines Italian Lease combined with ACG guarantee for three A321neo aircraft  

We acted for Société Générale in the financing of three A321neo aircraft for Turkish Airlines. This was an innovative structure which combined the ACG guarantee product with an Italian lease structure and was closed in a very short timeframe. The team was led by George Paterson.

Tax Lease Deal of the Year – SAS JOLCO for one A350-900 aircraft

Our team advised SAS on the first insurance-backed aviation finance transaction by Piiq Risk Partners’ iFli division which involved the introduction of the new iFli insurance product to the Japanese lease financing of one of SAS's Airbus A350 aircraft. The team was led by London partner Owen Mulholland.

The team also advised on a range of winning deals at the Aviation 100 Awards, which were hosted by Airline Economics, a leading specialist publication focusing on the commercial aviation finance and leasing industry.

The deals on which we advised were judged to be deals of the year in an unprecedented seven categories. They were selected from 150 nominations submitted from across the world for aviation finance and leasing transactions.

Our winning deals at the Aviation 100 Awards include:  

Lease Deal of the Year and European Lease Deal of the Year - ACG-Guaranteed Financing for Italian Tax Lease to THY
We acted for Société Générale in the financing of three A321neo aircraft for Turkish Airlines (THY). This was an innovative structure which combined the ACG guarantee product with an Italian lease structure and was closed in a very short timeframe. The team was led by George Paterson.

Supported Finance Deal of the Year and Sustainability Lease Deal of the Year – AFIC and Balthazar supported sale-leaseback financing two 787-10s and one A350-900 for Singapore Airlines
The team advised on the AFIC and Balthazar supported sale-leaseback financing of two 787-10s and one A350-900 for Singapore Airlines. Keith Sandilands led our advice to Singapore Airlines and George Paterson led our advice to KfW on one of the A350 Balthazars.

Sustainability Supported Finance Deal of the Year – Sustainability-Linked Balthazar-supported Senior Secured Loan for one A350-900 delivered to Air France
We acted for Société Générale, the mandated lead arranger and lender, in negotiating and drafting the financing documentation. This was a landmark and innovative financing as it was the first sustainability-linked aircraft-secured term loan provided to an airline. The team was led by George Paterson.

European Supported Finance Deal of the Year – SunExpress - UKEF-guaranteed facility for the purchase of Boeing aircraft
We advised UK Export Finance (UKEF), which guaranteed the loan for Turkish airline operator SunExpress’ purchase of Boeing aircraft. The team was led by George Paterson.

Asia-Pacific Restructuring Deal of the Year – Philippine Airlines Chapter 11 cross-border restructuring
We represented Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) as special aircraft counsel in its consensual restructuring, which was implemented in PAL's Chapter 11 plan. This is the first-ever pre-negotiated Chapter 11 restructuring by an airline. The team was led by Keith Sandilands and David Rosenzweig.

Our aviation practice holds 11 Tier 1 rankings across the leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, based on the feedback of our clients and peers.



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