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Aviation & Aerospace

Aviation & Aerospace
Aviation & Aerospace
Expertise / Sectors / Aviation & Aerospace

A top law firm in the aviation space, sought out by major manufacturers, lessors and investors.

Ranked #1 in Transportation: Aviation, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2022

Blakes has Canada’s largest aviation and aerospace law practice, and with it comes the expertise and experience to help our clients navigate the complex and challenging world of aviation law and regulation. Our team is comprised of dedicated professionals with backgrounds in the aviation industry, commercially trained pilots, and former officers and managers of various aviation businesses.

Those in the Canadian and international aviation and aerospace industries retain us because we understand their unique business, legal challenges, and the business environment and regulatory frameworks within which they operate. Blakes team members are heavily involved in the Aviation Working Group (AWG), a leading industry association comprised of most major aviation manufacturers, financial institutions and leasing companies.

Our transactional practice focuses on aircraft and engine finance, airport infrastructure, aviation/aerospace mergers and acquisitions, aviation/aerospace procurement, business and general aviation, satellite financing, and aviation bankruptcy and restructuring matters.

Our regulatory and advisory practice focuses on Transport Canada and Canadian transportation certification and regulatory matters, aviation/aerospace tax and insurance, and drones.

Blakes lawyers are active supporters of Canada’s aviation and aerospace industries as members of:

  • Air Transport Association of Canada
  • Canadian Business Aircraft Association
  • Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
  • Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
  • Aviation Working Group (Legal Advisory Committee)
  • International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading
  • Canadian Bar Association (Air and Space Law Section)
  • International Bar Association (Maritime and Aviation Law Section)
  • American Bar Association (Aircraft Financing Subcommittee/Aircraft Finance and Contracts Division)
  • Canadian Aviation Regulatory Council Women in Aviation
  • International Aviation Women’s Association
  • Women in Aerospace
  • The 99s
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Recent Experience
  • Killick Capital Inc. on the corporate refinancing of the Killick Aerospace Group, a leading provider of commercial and business aircraft parts and engine solutions.

  • ​Canadian competition counsel to AerCap Holdings N.V. on its acquisition of 100 per cent of GE Capital Aviation Services from General Electric in exchange for 111.5 million newly issued AerCap shares, C$24-billion of cash and C$1-billion of AerCap notes and/or cash.

  • WestJet on its acquisition by Onex for approximately C$5-billion.

  • A syndicate of underwriters led by TD Securities, in connection with Air Canada’s public offering of C$500-million of voting shares and US$650-million of convertible senior notes.

  • Aergo Capital in connection with the pre-delivery payment financing and sale-leaseback of 3xB737-8 Aircraft to Lynx Air.

  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on a multi-lender credit facility with Top Aces Inc.

  • GAT Airline Ground Support, a portfolio company of Atlantic Street Capital, on its acquisition of Strategic Aviation Services and Sky Café.

  • Groupe LAUAK in connection with the purchase of the aerospace tube manufacturing division of Bombardier Inc.

  • The underwriters on all five of Air Canada's Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates transactions, raising more than US$3.3-billion for Air Canada.

  • The Boeing Company in Canada, including the successful sale and financing arrangements for up to 100 new B737-MAX aircraft to Air Canada.

  • GE Capital Aviation Services on all Canadian aircraft and engine leasing, financing and sales matters in Canada.

  • Avolon on a number of projects relating to their Canadian fleet, including leases, purchase and sale, sale-leaseback, asset-back securitizations and refinancings.

  • PNC Aviation Finance on a significant portion of its Canadian aircraft financing matters, on more than 40 transactions involving over 15 aircraft types.

  • Export-Import Bank of the United States and TD Bank in the first ever issue of ECA-supported bonds by a Canadian airline (Air Canada).

  • Major aircraft financiers in most aircraft financings to Canadian airlines over the past several years, including Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwing, Jazz, WestJet Encore, Porter, Sky Regional, Air Georgian, Enerjet, CargoJet, Canadian North, Air North, Air Inuit and Flair.

  • The Government of Canada and the financiers of Canada's major airlines, both as members of the Canadian delegation and, subsequently, in respect of ratification in Canada, in the initial drafting, international acceptance and the Canadian ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Convention in Canada.

  • PHI, Inc. in respect of its acquisition of the international offshore business of Canadian Helicopters Ltd.

  • TUI Travel PLC and Sunwing Travel Group Inc. in connection with the acquisition of First Choice Canada Inc. (an affiliate of TUI Travel) by Sunwing.

  • Vancouver International Airport’s wholly owned airport services and management company on its C$50-million operating facility that manages or has invested in over a dozen international airports and airport development projects.

  • CHC Helicopter LLC v. VIH Aviation Group Ltd. - Successful arbitration of joint venture agreement claims.

  • Advising corporations in connection with the purchase, sale and aircraft management of their corporate aircraft fleets.

  • Most aircraft financing creditors in virtually all of the Canadian insolvency proceedings over the past 20 years.

Awards & Recognition

Members of the Blakes Aviation/Aerospace team are recognized as leaders in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Received the Canada M&A Deal of the Year award at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) inaugural 2020 IFLR1000 Canada Awards for our work on the Onex acquisition of West Jet Airlines

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – Transportation: Aviation – Nationwide - Canada

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing, Aviation (Regulation & Liability)

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms – Asset Finance 

  • Legal 500 Canada -Transport: Aviation

  • Who's Who Legal: Aviation – Finance

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – Aviation

  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers

  • Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best – Aviation (Canada)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – Aviation Law

  • Air Finance Journal – North American Aviation Law Firm of the Year 2015