Transport: aviation in Panama

Galindo, Arias & López

Galindo, Arias & López is renowned for its expertise in aviation finance, with clients including Copa Airlines, Panama's flag carrier, and major domestic and international banks. The team advises on the financing of the acquisition and leasing of aircraft, including multi-jurisdictional transactions, as well as related corporate, regulatory and registration issues. Cristina Lewis de la Guardia chairs the firm's aviation practice group and regularly advises airlines and financial institutions on the acquisition, finance, leasing and regulation of aircraft. Consultant Daniel Sessa and associate Claudia Juárez are also key members of the group.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de la Guardia

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Copa Airlines

AeroRepública

Compañía Panameña de Aviación

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings (the holding company of Copa Airlines) with respect to a guaranteed revolving credit facility agreement for an initial amount of $105m (with a withdrawal option of up to $350m), in which Citigroup Global Markets acted as structuring agent.
  • Advised Copa Holdings on all Panamanian legal matters relating to the pay-off of guaranteed loans, initially contracted to finance the acquisition of several of the group’s aircraft.

Pardini & Asociados

Pardini & Asociados has a broad aviation practice, with long-standing experience in corporate and permitting issues, aircraft financing and leasing, regulatory and competition matters in the sector, and high-profile aviation litigation. The team's impressive client roster includes major international airlines, among them United Airlines, Lufthansa and Air China, as well as industry associations, financial institutions, leasing companies and airports. The practice is led by Juan Francisco Pardini, who is experienced in corporate transactions and joint venture agreements in the aviation sector, and Juan José Espino, a specialist in aviation disputes, as well as financing and leasing. Eduardo Achurra also handles regulatory and permitting matters.

Practice head(s):

Juan Francisco Pardini; Juan José Espino

Key clients

United Airlines

FedEx

Lufthansa

Air China

United Airlines

MLM Leasing

Clyde & Co

Holman Fenwick Willan

Kennedys

Work highlights

  • Advised Lufthansa on its corporate restructuring, including issues under New York law.
  • Advised MLM Leasing on the establishment of a domestic airline, including aircraft lease financing and registration with the Panamanian Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Acting for Copa Airlines in various litigation proceedings.

Patton, Moreno & Asvat

Patton, Moreno & Asvat has considerable strength in aviation law, advising commercial and private airlines, international financial institutions and leasing companies on a wide range of matters in the sector. The team is highly experienced in aviation finance, including the acquisition, refinancing and leasing of aircraft, and also assists with related matters, including registration, operating permits, and commercial and civil disputes. The practice is led by María de Lourdes Marengo, who has wide-ranging expertise in financial, regulatory and commercial issues in the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

María de Lourdes Marengo

Key clients

Alliance Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised Alliance Airlines on all legal matters relating to the purchase of 14 Embraer E190 E-Jets aircraft and six spare engines, an FFS flight simulator and other training equipment for $80m.

Delvalle, Escalona, Levy & Corró

A relative newcomer to the Panamanian market, Delvalle, Escalona, Levy & Corró was founded in 2019 and has built up a strong aviation practice, advising several foreign airlines on establishing operations in Panama, as well as assisting with the financing and acquisition of aircraft and their registration with Panama's aviation authority. In addition, the 'well-rounded' team handles related commercial, regulatory and tax matters for a wide-ranging client base of airlines, ground handling companies, banks and other key players in the aviation industry. Felipe Escalona leads the practice, and is experienced in advising airlines on regulatory and commercial issues, as well as in aircraft financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Escalona

Testimonials

‘A very well-rounded team with partners who are each experts in their areas of law.’

‘The lawyers are very good, highly educated and trained, responsive and hardworking.’

Key clients

Turkish Airlines

The Boeing Company

Air Europa

Gate Gourmet

Viva Aerobus (Aeroenlaces Nacionales)

Boliviana de Aviación

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge

Comisión Panamá-Estados Unidos para la Erradicación y Prevención del Gusano Barrenador del Ganado – COPEG

Sunrise Airways

Universal Weather and Aviation

Mapiex Internacional

Work highlights

  • Advised Air Europa on the establishment and registration of its Panamanian branch.
  • Advising Turkish Airlines on regulatory, corporate and labour matters relating to its operations in Panama City.
  • Advising Sunrise Airways on the establishment and registration of its Panamanian branch.