A&O swoops for new airline

Allen & Overy (A&O) has added a new client to its expanding airlines practice after beating competitors including Clifford Chance to an instruction from Oman Aviation Services Company.
A&O’s New York office has closed the airline’s first deal with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), the US’s official export credit agency.

Ex-Im financed the Oman airline’s acquisition of a Boeing 737. Ex-Im can provide borrowers with a list of law firms, but cannot make recommendations. The airline selected firms from the list for a tender, with Clifford Chance among them.

The deal was small – about $30m (£18m) – but New York banking partner Ian Shrank said he hoped it would lead to future instructions. He added: “We’ve been trying to expand our aviation practice. It’s a difficult time to do that in the present aviation market. Also most airlines already have [external] counsel. But we have had some notable successes.”

This year A&O expanded its relationship with Qantas, and has added Iberia and KLM to its client list.