With a hard-earned track record that stretches back more than a half century, O’Melveny is the counsel of choice for the biggest names in aviation. We combine a deep understanding of the aviation business with a sophisticated knowledge of the legal, regulatory, and market forces impacting our clients. It’s how we’ve helped major airlines, airport owners and operators, investors, and developers achieve success in this fiercely competitive sector.

Along the way, we and our clients have partnered to produce many of the legal breakthroughs and seminal business events that have shaped the industry. Our experience includes:

    • Serving as primary outside counsel to over a dozen major passenger and cargo airlines in bet-the-company labor, employment, and union-related cases in federal district and appellate courts across the United States, including cases that produced many of the most significant court decisions issued to date under the Railway Labor Act

    • Spearheading the first post-deregulation merger of US airlines, and playing a decisive role in virtually every significant ownership change since, including the merger of Northwest and Delta, the merger of United and Continental, and the merger of US Airways and American Airlines

    • Successfully defending a number of airlines, airport operators, and insurance companies in litigation arising from air crashes

    • Assisting on more than 50 airport projects in the last two decades, including advising airlines and investment banks in financing the development of new airport terminals, and the improvement of existing terminals and other airport facilities

    • Advising airlines and aircraft leasing companies on transactional matters, including providing corporate counseling and serving as issuer’s counsel in more than US$12 billion in securities offerings

ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide

An interdisciplinary team of O’Melveny lawyers represented US-based ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide in its acquisition of Northern Ireland’s Belfast International Airport. Read

American Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny secured a victory for American Airlines in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in one of the first appellate decisions addressing the McCaskill-Bond amendment to the Federal Aviation Act, which was enacted in 2007 to ensure that the integration of airline seniority lists after a merger occurs in a “fair and equitable manner.” Read

American Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny won full dismissal for American Airlines, Inc. of an action filed by a local union representing American’s mechanics, Transport Workers Union Local 591, and four Local 591 officials. Read

Asiana Airlines

O’Melveny represented Asiana Airlines in what that the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit called “a matter of first impression.” Read

Asiana Airlines

O’Melveny is defending Asiana against a claim in the Chancery Division of the English High Court brought by British Airways Plc (BA) for a contribution and/or indemnity should BA be held liable to the claimants in an antitrust action bought by Emerald Supplies Limited and others. Read

Case Study: Alaska Air Group

O’Melveny counseled Alaska Airlines on all aspects of its US$4 billion acquisition of Virgin America.


China Eastern Airlines

After seven years of litigation, O’Melveny succeeded in obtaining the final dismissal of wrongful death cases brought against China Eastern Airlines. Read

China Eastern Airlines

O’Melveny represented China Eastern in its agreement with Delta Air Lines to expand their partnership and better connect Delta’s global network with China Eastern. Read

Spirit Airlines

O’Melveny represented Spirit Airlines in a suit brought by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) under the Railway Labor Act for alleged bad-faith bargaining and alleged interference with ALPA’s organizational rights. Read

United Airlines, Inc.

O'Melveny represented United Airlines, Inc. and its financing team, led by Citigroup Global Markets Inc., in connection with the issuance of US$290 million of special facility revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds issued for United's benefit by the City of Houston, Texas Airport System. Read

United Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny won full dismissal for United Airlines, Inc. of a putative class action filed by a group of pilots on behalf of themselves and a proposed class of 490 pre-merger United pilots. Read

United Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny obtained a significant victory for United Airlines when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s entry of a preliminary injunction against the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for conducting a work slowdown and sick-out in violation of the Railway Labor Act. Read

US Airways, Inc.

Since advising US Airways regarding labor and antitrust issues in its historic merger with American Airlines, O'Melveny has continued to advise the newly combined company on some of its most important matters, including a putative nationwide class action. Read

US Airways, Inc.

O’Melveny secured a victory for US Airways, Inc. in its attempt to stop an illegal slowdown by its pilots. Read

US Airways/American Airlines

O’Melveny represented US Airways in connection with its merger with American Airlines, both in structuring a complex set of labor agreements to secure union support for the deal, and as lead trial counsel in the Department of Justice’s attempt to enjoin the merger on antitrust grounds. Read
    • Air Lease Corp
    • Airports Worldwide
    • Alaska Airlines
    • American Airlines Group/US Airways
    • Asiana Airlines
    • Atlas Air Cargo
    • China Eastern Airlines
    • Delta Air Lines 
    • Gate Gourmet
    • Frontier Airlines
    • Massachusetts Port Authority
    • Republic Airlines
    • Spirit Airlines
    • Vantage Airport Group
    • United Airlines