Air Carriers

Posted on Nov 12th, 2015

The Wicks Group has robust regulatory and commercial practices that encompass a wide range of air carrier legal service needs. We specialize in providing turnkey support to foreign and new air carriers with respect to regulatory requirements and procedures for starting up US operations, as well as their ongoing regulatory compliance and resolution of compliance issues that may arise in the course of operations. Our attorneys have long experience with all of the US government agencies relevant to air carrier operations, including the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), Department of State, Customs and Border Protection, Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Wicks Group attorneys also regularly draft and negotiate commercial agreements for our air carrier clients, including joint marketing agreements between domestic and foreign airlines; code-share agreements; aircraft purchase, sale, and lease agreements; and agreements with product and service suppliers; among others. We also assist both domestic and foreign air carries with aircraft finance transactions, including those financed through major international and US institutions, such as the Export-Import Bank, and those that cross borders.

Other types of legal services regularly provided to air carriers include assistance with government security requirements, such as obtaining TSA approval of air carrier security programs and TSA waivers and exemptions, and resolving Department of Defense individual and facility clearance issues. We also assist foreign air carriers with obtaining visas for their personnel who need to work in the US.

Representative Experience

  • Securing US governmental certificates and approvals for more than 40 foreign air carriers, and handling other regulatory matters for them involving various US government agencies and relevant foreign government counterparts
  • Representing major US passenger and cargo carriers before the DOT, FAA, and other federal agencies on competitive route proceedings, hazardous materials transportation issues and other enforcement actions, as well as other regulatory and licensing matters
  • Successfully representing several foreign air carriers in economic and safety enforcement matters, including emergency proceedings before the DOT, FAA and Department of Defense (DOD) regarding seizure of an aircraft; obtaining relief from noise regulations; obtaining exemptions from security regulations, and achieving the elimination or reduction of associated penalties
  • Negotiating purchase and sale agreements, wet-lease and dry-lease arrangements, and related equipment agreements for more than two dozen air carriers
  • Drafting and negotiating joint marketing agreements between US air carriers and more than a dozen foreign air carriers
  • Advising dozens of air carriers on all aspects of code-share arrangements, including commercial issues, regulatory compliance, potential liability, and other legal issues, and assisting the carriers with negotiating and implementing the code-sharing arrangements
  • Preparing commercial documentation for aircraft financing and leasing for several foreign air carrier clients, including multiple financing arrangements involving the US Export-Import Bank
  • Representing a foreign air carrier being investigated by the US Department of Justice for potential antitrust violations and, following a due diligence effort by TWG, succeeding in having the investigation dropped
  • Assisting more than two dozen foreign air carriers with obtaining visas and permits necessary for foreign staff employed in their US operations, and resolving immigration-related sanctions for two foreign air carriers

Read about our work for Silk Way Airlines here