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Aviation Finance and Transportation

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"This dedicated team continues to impress market observers with its excellent client service and wide-ranging expertise."
Chambers Europe

Matheson has a dedicated market leading Aviation Finance and Transportation Group.  We advise both domestic and international asset financing banks, leasing companies and airlines in relation to financing and leasing of commercial and corporate aircraft, helicopters, rail rolling stock and ships.  We also regularly act as deal counsel or Irish counsel in complex cross-border financings, including on structured finance, ABS (asset-backed securitisation) and repackaging transactions relating to all such asset classes.

Being part of our Finance and Capital Markets Department, we regularly advise on structured finance, ABS (asset-backed securities) and repackaging transactions relating to all such asset classes including the establishment of special purpose companies funded by public and private issuances.

We also have a strong aviation regulatory practice and regularly advise Irish airlines and leasing companies on airline licencing and registration issues with the Irish Aviation Authority and Commission for Aviation Regulation in addition to all aspects of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol.

Together with Matheson’s specialist aviation tax expertise, Matheson has assisted a number of the current top ten aircraft lessors in establishing their leasing platforms in Ireland.

Our Team

Experience Highlights

Representative transactions include:

  • A major private equity fund in relation to its acquisition of an aircraft portfolio comprising in excess of 150 aircraft.
  • An international investor in a 50 / 50 joint venture arrangement to acquire up to 70 Airbus A320 aircraft.
  • A domestic airline in its acquisition of up to 20 new aircraft.
  • The Export-Import Bank of China in respect of its financing of six Airbus A320 aircraft to a Chinese based lessor - the first aircraft delivered under this facility was the first non European assembled Airbus aircraft and the first A320 to be produced at Airbus' new assembly facility in Tianjin, China.
  • An international lessor and financier in its acquisition of 15 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • An Irish aircraft lessor on its acquisition of 30 aircraft and an airline.
  • On the establishment of an Irish licenced airline.
  • On the acquisition of a portfolio of 37 aircraft.
  • On the acquisition of Irish and European airlines.

In addition to:

  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on aircraft securitisation transactions.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on US EX-IM supported financing of Boeing aircraft.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on European Export Credit supported financing of Airbus and ATR aircraft.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on BNDES Brazilian export credit supported financing of Embraer aircraft.
  • Regularly advising on the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol.
The team are "well-established and respected."
The Legal 500 2021 

"Matheson always respond in a timely manner and think everything through ahead of the clients."
The Legal 500 2021 

The team have a "good grasp of the requirements for inward investment, set up and doing international business from Ireland, and of the aircraft leasing business."
The Legal 500 2021 

"A lot of reactivity, high quality of advice when it comes to structuring and legal risks, a strong degree of flexibility for the pricing, strong experience in cross-border transactions."
The Legal 500 2021 

"A can-do, solutions-driven culture across the team. Significant depth in the team where cover and handover is seamless."
The Legal 500 2021 

Stuart Kennedy, Rory McPhillips and Yvonne McWeeney recognised in the 
Airline Economics ‘40 under 40’ guide 2020

Matheson have "always been efficient in dealing with local counsel in foreign jurisdictions".
Banking and Financial Services: Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson is “at the top of the top five” firms in this field.
Banking and Financial Services: Chambers Europe 2019