Transport: Aviation in Panama

Galindo, Arias & López

Galindo, Arias & López fields a dedicated aviation practice that stands out for its expertise in aviation finance, where it acts for an impressive client roster that includes major banks and Panamanian flag carrier Copa Airlines. The team also advises on the contractual and regulatory aspects of the sale and acquisition of aircraft. Cristina Lewis de la Guardia, who has longstanding experience in the financing and acquisition of aircraft, heads up the practice. Consultant Daniel Sessa is another contact for aviation finance, while associate Claudia Juárez focuses on regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de la Guardia

Testimonials

‘Daniel Sessa is the best there is.’

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Compañía Panameña de Aviación

North Pole Investments (part of the Helistar group)

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings on the purchase and financing of seven Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft delivered to its subsidiary, Copa Airlines, as well as on the $6.6bn order for the acquisition of 71 new Max aircraft.
  • Advised Compañía Panameña de Aviación (Copa Airlines), the flag carrier of Panama, on the payoff of guaranteed loans initially contracted to finance the acquisition of several of its aircraft.
  • Advised aircraft leasing company North Pole Investments (part of the Helistar group) on the purchase and financing of one Gulfstream GVII-G500 aircraft.

Pardini & Asociados

Pardini & Asociados advises a roster of major international airlines, including Lufthansa, United Airlines and Air China, on a wide range of aviation matters. The team is best known for its strength in aviation litigation, but its practice also spans aviation finance and leasing, corporate transactions in the sector, and regulatory and permitting matters. At the head of the team, Juan Pardini focuses on aviation-related corporate and financial transactions, and Juan José Espino handles liability and accident claims. Associates Eduardo Achurra is skilled in regulatory and permitting issues, while Adrián Rivera is recommended for litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Juan Pardini; Juan José Espino

Key clients

United Airlines

FedEx

Lufthansa

Air China

MLM Leasing

EuroWings Discover

Work highlights

  • Advising EuroWings Discover (owned by the Lufthansa Group) on launching its operations in Panama, including the incorporation of the company and the regulatory requirements to begin flying to Panama.
  • Assisting FedEx with obtaining the renewal of its airline licence from the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Advising United Airlines on various corporate and regulatory matters in Panama.

Patton, Moreno & Asvat

The aviation practice at Patton, Moreno & Asvat, which covers the acquisition, financing, registration and commercial leasing of aircraft, offers advice to an impressive roster of clients, including international financial institutions, aviation companies and aircraft lessors. María de Lourdes Marengo, who is highly experienced in aviation financing, leasing transactions and commercial issues in the sectors, chairs the department.

Delvalle, Escalona, Levy & Corró

Delvalle, Escalona, Levy & Corró has a wide-ranging aviation practice which spans the financing, acquisition and registration of aircraft, as well as the negotiation of concession contracts with Panama’s international airport. The firm’s diverse client base includes major international and regional airlines, and aviation and ground-handling companies. The ‘well-rounded‘ team is led by Felipe Escalona, who is experienced in aviation finance, commercial and regulatory matters, and praised for his 'availability and professionalism'.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Escalona

Testimonials

‘Del Valle, Escalona, Levy & Corró has formed an essential part of my company’s operations. Its professionalism and availability mean that I don’t have to worry, much less have to resort to another office.’

‘Felipe Escalona is definitely a professional lawyer who, during all the years that my company has worked with him, has given us his availability and professionalism in each of the tasks or requests that we have. Thanks to him, everything related to the company’s aeronautical services is up to date.’

‘A very good, well-rounded team.’

‘They have people dedicated to our industry and have very good relations with the airline sector in their country.’

Key clients

Turkish Airlines

Air Europa

Gate Gourmet

Viva Aerobus (Aeroenlaces Nacionales)

Airports Council International – Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC)

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes

Jetex

FLYSEC

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge

Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas

Work highlights

  • Advising the Latin American office of Airports Council International on all its corporate matters.
  • Advising Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas (LAS Cargo) on all regulatory, corporate and labour matters relating to its operations in Panama, as part of the renewal of its fleet and the expansion of its routes into Central and South America and the Caribbean.
  • Advised Air Europa on the establishment of its Panamanian branch, including obtaining all the permits required to operate as a foreign air carrier in the country.