Putting a plane in the air demands extraordinary coordination of talents and resources: so does competing effectively in today’s complex aviation industry. 

O’Melveny’s interdisciplinary aviation team brings together all the legal resources you need to stay ahead of the crowd. By combining deep industry knowledge with diverse legal skills, we help you achieve your loftiest goals.

What do you want to achieve in aviation?

    • Expand your markets. As consolidation continues in the airline industry, mergers are a key business strategy. O’Melveny has the resources and experience to guide you through every aspect of your aviation merger, including negotiation, documentation, financing, labor issues, antitrust clearances and merger-related litigation. We’ve been involved in every significant ownership change since the aviation industry was deregulated in 1978, including the US Airways-American Airlines merger that created the world’s largest airline.

    • Attract and retain key talent.  Automation notwithstanding, aviation is still a people business. We will help you maintain a productive work force during whatever challenges you face, from union disputes to mergers and bankruptcies.

    • Improve infrastructure.  With many of our busiest airports and terminals now outdated and overcrowded, the time is ripe for safer, more efficient facilities. Our lawyers have represented airline sponsors, investor groups and other stakeholders in financing and developing infrastructure projects at more than 35 US airports. Recently, we helped LaGuardia Gateway Partners in its winning bid for redevelopment and operation of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal building in what will be one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships.

    • Anticipate turbulence. While every aviation business strives for exemplary safety and service records, perfection is a goal, not a given. We continually have represented major US airlines in high-stakes consumer class action, air crash, passenger removal and general commercial litigation with highly successful results. Our creative, persistent litigators are committed to limiting your liability and achieving the best possible outcome for your business.

    • Evolve with the industry.  As new players and services enter the industry, stay alert to both opportunities and threats. In 2016 we won a US$15 million lawsuit against on-line booking service Sabre, alleging that it coerced airlines into paying inflated fees and signing anti-competitive contracts. With the jury’s decision, the industry will be able to create new sales methods that are more transparent and competitive.

    • Control cyber risk.  With its global databases, itinerant employees and frequent transactions, the aviation industry is an inviting target for cybercrime. Manage your risk with advice from our experienced data security and privacy lawyers. We can help you navigate the changing government regulations surrounding data privacy, and represent you in data breach response, government investigations and civil litigation.

Air Lease Corp.

O’Melveny represented Air Lease, an aircraft leasing company, in a series of major financing transactions within a single year—three public offerings of debt, raising aggregate gross proceeds of US$1.85 billion; a US$100 million private placement of notes; establishment of a private shelf facility; and an amendment and extension to Air Lease’s unsecured revolving credit facility. Read

Alaska Air Group

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

Case Study: American Airlines

O’Melveny achieved an important victory for American Airlines when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by a putative class of nearly 10,000 legacy American pilots. Read

LaGuardia Gateway Partners

O’Melveny represented the LaGuardia Gateway Partners consortium in its winning bid to assume operational control of New York LaGuardia Airport’s central terminal building and to build, finance, operate, and maintain a replacement terminal. Read

Ontario Airport Authority

O’Melveny represented the airport authority in an historic transaction enabling the airport’s transfer from the City of Los Angeles to the authority. Read

Spirit Airlines

O'Melveny obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for Spirit Airlines prohibiting Spirit pilots from disrupting Spirit’s operations. Read

United Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny secured two major summary judgment wins for United Airlines, confirming that California labor and employment law does not apply to individuals who work primarily outside the state’s borders. 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, 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/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

Vantage Airport Group

O’Melveny represents Vantage Airport group in connection with its redevelopment projects at New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports, and our Environmental team has played a key role in evaluating and managing environmental risks on those projects. 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