July 7, 2020

Milbank’s Aviation Work Awarded Eight Deals of the Year by Airfinance Journal


Milbank LLP is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with our clients on eight “Deals of the Year” recognized by Airfinance Journal’s 2019 Global Awards. The deals highlight some of the global transportation finance team’s work on complex aviation deals last year.

Milbank acted as counsel on the following innovative transactions in 2019:

  • ABS Deal of the Year: JOL Air’s 2019-1 $554 million financing for 15 aircraft, the first-of-its-kind asset-backed securitization (ABS) featuring securitized debt with equity from Japanese operating lease (JOL) structures. Milbank represented JP Lease Products and Stratos. This deal was also named “Asia Pacific Overall Deal of the Year” by Airline Economics magazine.
  • ABS Equity Deal of the Year: BBAM’s Horizon II $541 million ABS for 18 aircraft subject to lease, the first tradable equity certificates offered to passive equity investors without an anchor investor. Milbank represented the lead arrangers.
  • EETC Deal of the Year: American Airlines’ $650 million private placement of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs). Milbank represented the placement agents.
  • Guaranteed Financing Deal of the Year: The first-ever Japanese operating lease with call option (JOLCO) funded with Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium (AFIC)-supported debt, which provided El Al Israel Airlines with 100% financing for two Boeing 787-900 aircraft. Milbank represented the AFIC insurers.
  • Latin America Deal of the Year: Avianca Holdings S.A.’s renegotiations of over $4.5 billion of aircraft lease and debt obligations as part of its 2021 strategic plan, combining capital markets, bank, lease and export credit agency (ECA) obligations in a single re-profiling program. Milbank represented Avianca Holdings.
  • Middle East Deal of the Year: Dara Aviation Finance Limited’s portfolio acquisition of 18 commercial aircraft from AerCap Holdings N.V. comprised of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body and wide-body aircraft on lease to 17 airlines, financed via the first Sharia’h compliant non-recourse revolving warehouse facility. Milbank represented Dara Aviation Finance and NCB Capital.
  • Bank Loan Deal of the Year: Apollo Global Management LLC’s and Athene Holding’s acquisition of PK AirFinance’s lending platform and portfolio of loans from GE Capital Aviation Services, financed by a $3.6 billion collateralized loan obligation (CLO), the first CLO with an aircraft secured loan portfolio. Milbank represented the borrower.

Also awarded Overall Deal of the Year: The PK AirFinance lending platform and loan portfolio acquisition by Apollo Global Management LLC and Athene Holding, one of the two main 2019 M&A events in the aviation finance sector, was also recognized for its complex nature as it involved the sale of an entire business with subsidiaries, assets, loan portfolio and employees located in a number of countries. Milbank represented the purchaser. This deal was also named “Aviation 100 Overall Deal of the Year” and “Americas M&A Deal of the Year” by Airline Economics magazine.

Airfinance Journal's winning deals were selected by a judging panel of senior aviation finance and independent executives and the evaluation criteria included the deal’s innovation, timing, size, complexity, and market benchmarks.