Walkers has been recognised by the aviation finance industry's leading publications for the firm's involvement in multiple asset finance 'Deal of the Year' awards for Aircraft Asset-Backed Securitization (ABS) and Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium (AFIC) transactions.
The firm was acknowledged at the Airline Economics Aviation 100 Awards and the Airfinance Journal Awards 2018 for being a part of the deal team that advised on Thunderbolt II ABS, which was named 'Overall Capital Markets Deal of the Year' and 'Overall Deal of the Year', respectively.
Walkers also advised on the 'Middle East & Africa Deal of the Year' for Ethiopian Airlines' $670 million AFIC supported financing for eight Boeing aircraft.
Walkers acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Air Lease Corporation's Thunderbolt II, an aircraft backed securitization with a portfolio of 18 jet aircraft, which introduced the first 144A / Reg S Aircraft Portfolio Shares to the market in a broadly distributed offering process where both the equity and debt securities were marketed and issued concurrently. This transaction was also the first aircraft ABS Deal to use a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) tax structure that facilitates off-shore ownership and removes tax related transfer restrictions.
The firm also acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Ethiopian Airlines, which became the first African carrier to raise financing through the AFIC structure. The financing also marked the first AFIC structure with a commercial junior debt.
The Airfinance Journal awards were announced on 2 May, 2019 at Airfinance Journal Global Awards held in New York, and the Airline Economics Aviation 100 awards were announced earlier this year in Dublin.
For more information on the state of the ABS and AFIC market, please refer to our recent article, here.