Aviation

Our internationally-renowned Aviation Group can assist you with matters ranging from regulatory and business law to aircraft finance, labor and employment, and competition issues. With offices across the world, we offer a global perspective and are ranked as one of the leading aviation practices in the US by Chambers.

Our aviation lawyers are located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, working closely together and providing a seamless service to clients, wherever they need us.

We serve clients ranging from small executive and commuter aircraft to major international airlines and airline trade groups, to governments, aircraft equipment manufacturers, airports and port authorities, Global Distribution System (GDS) operators, tour operators and travel agency industry associations.

Why choose us

Airline Industry Knowledge

We have represented clients in the industry since the 1970s.  We have one of the largest and most extensive aviation practices of any law firm in the world. As a result, we offer advice that recognizes the realities of the complex and highly-competitive aviation sector. This understanding also gives us the expertise on the nuances of the industry; to know, for example, when provisions that are not “standard” or “customary” are appropriate to meet a client’s needs.

Blue Chip Clients

We are pleased to call a number of the largest and best known international airlines and other related industry companies our clients.

Collaboration

To serve the diverse needs of aviation clients efficiently and effectively, our group works seamlessly with other firm practices including antitrust and competition, corporate, taxation, employment, pensions, environmental, litigation and information technology.

Recognized

We are ranked as one of the leading aviation practices in the United States by Chambers. Several of our aviation practitioners are listed  are listed among the most respected aviation practitioners by Chambers, the International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers, Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers and the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.

Explore

Regulatory

For more than half a century, we have provided industry players with timely, accurate and cost-effective advice and guidance on virtually every aviation regulatory issue. In the US, much of our work involves agencies such as Department of Transportation, Department of State, Department of Justice, Federal Aviation Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Homeland Security as well as state and local agencies. Outside the US, we represent clients before various civil aviation authorities and other aviation regulatory agencies in Asia Pacific, the EU (particularly the UK, Greece, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany) and Latin America.

Aircraft Finance

We bring decades of experience advising a diverse array of aviation finance clients. Our team is familiar with all financing techniques, from cross-border and tax-based leasing techniques to loan or capital market-based structures and securitization. The transactions we handle range from tax-based lease financing for new wide- and narrow-bodied aircraft to the sale and leaseback of used aircraft, as well as operating leases and transactions involving manufacturer support and export credit agencies.

Antitrust and Competition

Regular representation of airline clients in antitrust immunity proceedings, mergers, joint ventures, expanded code-sharing operations and commercial cooperation agreements. Our activities include, for example, advising clients on commercial strategies to minimize antitrust risk, advising carriers participating in major airline alliances, including the Star Alliance, SkyTeam and oneworld, and assisting in various civil and criminal antitrust cases involving carriers and their employees.

Labor/Employment and Immigration

Since its inception, our aviation practice has been involved in substantial airline labor and immigration representations. These range from advising airline management on strategies to deal with efforts to organize their employees, to helping with immigration matters including stationing expatriate employees in the US and Europe, as well as visas and obtaining green cards for carrier personnel and their families.

GDS and Internet Travel Sales

We are involved actively in the full spectrum of GDS issues, including the negotiation of GDS participation agreements for airlines, litigation concerning alleged breaches of GDS contracts, airline automation and hosting issues.
We counsel major internet travel service providers, including airline and non-airline vendors such as OTAs on regulatory requirements applicable to website sales, advertising and disclosure issues and requirements, contractual conditions and website disclaimers, imposition and disclosure of service fees and charges, and competition issues.

General Business

With a vast depth of industry expertise, our lawyers commonly function as general counsel to our aviation clients. Such work includes advising on negotiation and drafting of contracts with commercial vendors, general sales agents, tour wholesalers, cruise lines, office lessors and others. We also help with the development, construction and leasing of warehouse facilities, sale of warehouses and acquisition of land to support our aviation clients, as well as many other issues such as trademarks and servicemarks.

Litigation

Squire Patton Boggs represents airline clients in labor and employment, commercial, travel agent, antitrust and GDS litigation in various federal courts, as well as more common cases involving major passenger and shipper claims for damages. We bring you valuable experience in litigation arising from pricing activities, joint ventures, alleged market allocation programs, frequent flyer programs and code-sharing activities, and the utilization of various specialized defenses.

Pensions

Our award-winning pensions team helps aviation employers manage the risks and obligations attached to pension arrangements. Drawing upon one of the largest pensions teams in Europe, we routinely assist employers with existing pension commitments and in developing future options to best manage this significant cost.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring

Our experience in aviation bankruptcy and restructuring matters includes representing airlines in restructuring liabilities, as well as assisting airline creditors in filing claims against debtors, prosecuting breaches of merger agreements and defending reorganization plans involving multimillion-dollar transactions.

Privatization and Concessions

Astute advice for governments and quasi-governmental agencies worldwide on initiatives to privatize, finance, provide concessions for, lease and restructure state-owned airports, airlines and aviation systems.

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