May 8, 2020 — For the eighth consecutive year, Hughes Hubbard handled transactions named "Deal of the Year" by Airfinance Journal, the aviation industry's leading publication.

HHR served as counsel on three matters selected as 2019's "Middle East Deal of the Year," "Latin America Deal of the Year," and "North America Deal of the Year." The firm has also been recognized in the previous seven years for its role in 12 other transactions named "Deal of the Year."

The awards recognize "a selection of the best financings of last year by both region and financing structure." This year's winners were selected by a judging panel of six senior aviation finance executives. (An awards ceremony scheduled for May 5 in New York to honor the winners was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.)

In the "Middle East Deal of the Year," the firm advised a group of financing parties, including Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and BNP Paribas, in a $500 million Islamic finance murabaha revolving warehouse facility for NCB Capital, a leading investment firm in the Middle East. NCB Capital used the proceeds from the transaction, which closed in July, to finance or refinance the purchase of aircraft to be owned by Dara Aviation Finance Limited, a newly formed special-purpose company.

Terry Sanders led the HHR team, which included Steve Chung, Walter Song and Cynthia Liu. M. Shams Billah advised on Islamic finance matters, LIBOR and other leveraged finance matters. Alan Kravitz assisted on tax matters.

In the "Latin America Deal of the Year," the firm represented United Airlines in a $325 million secured convertible financing for Avianca Holdings S.A., the holding company of Latin American carriers Aerovías del Continente Americano-Avianca and Taca S.A., and of various other businesses. The convertible financing closed in a series of fundings between December 2019 and January 2020. 

Mark Denham, Steve Greene and Emilio Saiz led the HHR team, which also included Nathalie Rey, Ernesto Fuentes Garcia, Arthur Souza Rodrigues, Ashley Hamilton, Andrew Fowler, M. Shams Billah, Andy Braiterman, Jim Delaney, Alan Kravitz and Justin Cohen.

In the "North America Deal of the Year," HHR advised Hawaiian Airlines in the Japanese yen-denominated (JPY) financings of six Airbus aircraft in a deal worth up to $232 million. The deal consisted of two separate loan agreements signed in September, and came on the heels of Hawaiian's first-ever JPY financing -- which serves the dual purpose of providing a natural hedge to Hawaiian's growing JPY revenues and lowering its financing cost -- in 2018. 

Steve Chung, Jonathan Goldstein and Cynthia Liu worked on this matter.