Legal Flight Deck

The latest market insights, analysis and commentary from the Reed Smith aviation finance team

We are observing a distinct uptick in press coverage of aviation in the context of climate change discussions of various kinds at the moment. The headline item is, of course, the conversation about the proposed place of aviation within the Green New Deal plans in the United States, and what that might look like in the context of a 100 per cent carbon-neutral society, alongside clean fuels, high-speed electric rail, etc. At the industry level…
It turned out to be an unhappy Valentine’s Day for the Airbus A380 and her admirers, as Airbus announced the scrapping of the A380 programme, with the last deliveries scheduled for 2021. It’s hardly a shock, however, after the fleet’s first retirement last year and with two of them already being parted out. The economics of operating these fantastic beasts just never really made sense, however game-changing the concept (or indeed the passenger experience).…
The answer to this question is just one of the many fascinating things the Reed Smith aviation finance team discussed around St Stephen’s Green this January, as members of our London, Paris and Miami teams attended aviation’s largest annual industry gathering in Dublin. The presiding concern in discussions this year was where the industry is in its cycle. More and more money is being made available, by banks and private equity, to the point where…
At the end of last year I wrote a published piece entitled “The Allure of Investing in Aviation”. A client asked me this week whether, a year later, I stood by what I’d written. To answer that, you have to decide whether or not you think 2018 was a good year for the airline industry as a whole. There were many highs, but some telling lows as well. There can be no doubt…
Our aviation finance team has made it to the end of its first complete year since its relaunch in summer 2017 – and it has been a big one! We have worked on transactions involving over 100 aircraft and 19 different jurisdictions, we have met with clients and friends in Dublin, New York, Hong Kong and London, and we have seen our renewed team go from strength to strength as we welcomed new members in…
In a very significant, closely watched aviation product liability preemption case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., et al., No. 17-3006, 2018 WL 5289702 (3d Cir. Oct. 25, 2018), the court recently held that state law claims against type certificate holders can go forward unless the defendant can show that the FAA would not have approved a plaintiff’s proposed change to the FAA type certificate. The…
A 2017 survey showed that just 3% of airline chief executives are female, against the FTSE 100’s 7% at the same time. As of the middle of 2018, only 12 of the 286 IATA member airlines were led by women – a mere 4%. And with the future of Flybe under question at the time of writing, this number may yet be reduced.…
The Hong Kong conferences are over for another year, and our Aviation Finance team had another very productive week at the various sessions. It was great to see so many familiar faces and connect with new people, and doing so in what is fast becoming one of the world’s new aviation finance powerhouse jurisdictions gave the meetings a real buzz.…
Aviation seems to be facing a fuel-related existential crisis at the moment, as pressures mount on the industry from various angles. Within asset finance generally the major discussion is the looming bite of the IMO 2020 regulations, which will reduce the amount of sulphur permitted in ship fuel oil to a limit of 0.50 per cent mass by mass from 1 January 2020. Aside from the huge impact this will have on the world’s vessel…