For more than half a century, Cleary Gottlieb has been at the forefront of aviation law – from our representation of the U.S. airline that pioneered transoceanic air travel and transport to our roles in the current consolidation and restructuring of the industry. Aviation can be a volatile business, but our steadfast commitment to quality representation has expanded our work to include clients based in over 20 countries.
Lawyers from our diverse practice areas work cooperatively to advise aviation clients on a variety of matters globally, including: privatizations of state-owned airlines and airports; aircraft and capital purchasing and financing; structuring stock options; mergers, acquisitions, investments and joint ventures; providing antitrust/competition law advice on transactions and regarding allegations of anticompetitive conduct; equity and debt offerings, including initial public offerings; secured transactions; negotiating company alliances; increasing international access to airports; technology transfer arrangements; labor negotiations and disputes; litigation and arbitration; and bankruptcy and restructuring.
Practice highlights include:
- Counsel in $25 billion in offerings by participants in the airline industry segment since the late 1990s.
- We have been involved in 14 airline restructurings and bankruptcies worldwide.
- Counsel to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley as underwriters in the $187 million SEC-registered IPO of Spirit Airlines.
- Counsel to Highstar Capital in its acquisition of a 25 percent stake in London City Airport from Global Infrastructure Partners.
- Counsel to Hainan Airlines in its acquisition of a 48% stake in Aigle Azur Transports Aériens SAS.
- Counsel to the Government of Gabon and the Islamic Development Bank in connection with the structuring of a public-private partnership for the construction of the new Libreville international airport.
- Counsel in the IPO of Panamanian airline Copa, one of the first Panamanian companies to be listed on the NYSE, and in the subsequent SEC-registered follow-on offerings.
- Counsel to Continental Airlines in a broad range of corporate and financing activities, including the issuance of equity and secured and unsecured debt securities, the renegotiation of various loan agreements, litigations, e-commerce, executive compensation and corporate governance matters.
- Counsel to Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia Aermacchi in hi-tech industrial partnerships in the aerospace sector with Mubadala Development Company, including the creation of a joint venture in the UAE to construct and operate a final assembly line for the advance lead-in fighter trainer M-346.
- Counsel to American Express in its $1 billion purchase of Delta Skymiles from Delta Airlines through the multiyear extension of its Co-brand Credit Card partnerships with Delta.
- Counsel to Delta Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilot Association in the $3 billion combination of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.
- Counsel to Lighthouse Holdings in its $480 million acquisition of American Beacon Advisors from AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines.
- Counsel to Aeroports de Paris in its €1.3 billion IPO.