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Tilleke & Gibbins has handled some of the most significant aviation sector legal matters in Southeast Asian history.

Tilleke & Gibbins’ cross-disciplinary aviation team serves airlines, aircraft lessors and lessees, insurers, banks, air cargo firms, and other aviation-related companies in Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. With our firm’s top-ranked dispute resolution and corporate departments, as well as our multijurisdictional presence, we are well placed to advise clients in aviation matters.

Our practice covers:

  • Aircraft leasing disputes and repossessions
  • Civil aviation regulations
  • Air carrier liability
  • Air carrier insurance claims and disputes
  • Commercial and labor disputes involving the aviation industry
  • Aircraft acquisitions and sales
  • Aircraft leasing and financing

Our understanding of the business and regulatory environments in Southeast Asia, as well as our strong relationships, enables us to provide unparalleled breadth of support to clients in the aviation sector. In addition to representing our clients in corporate, commercial, and financing transactions, we regularly represent our clients before civil aviation departments, courts, and arbitration tribunals.


  • Representing a number of international creditors, including aircraft lessors, global banks, and credit card companies, in the landmark restructuring of national flag carrier, Thai Airways.
  • Assisted a global aircraft leasing company on the successful repossession of an Airbus A319 that was on lease to a Thai airline that defaulted on its payments.
  • Assisted in structuring an airline alliance, organized as a joint venture, between two major international carriers. The joint venture is now in operation, and has helped to position both carriers for improved profitability.
  • Represented an aviation operating and leasing company based in Ireland, with over 240 aircraft, in claiming several million USD in damages as a result of breached aircraft lease agreements on three leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • Advised a client on the acquisition of a Thai-registered commercial aviation services company, owned by a UK listed company, as part of a process to bid for, construct, and operate a fuel tank farm at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
  • Advised a coalition of European banks regarding Vietnamese law on secured aircraft finance and provided annual updates on changes to same.
  • Successfully represented a Korean airline in a contract dispute with its Thai ticketing agent.
  • Prepared aircraft service agreements and air transport service agreements for a local aviation company.
  • Assisted a global aircraft leasing company on the repossession of an Airbus A321 from a Thai airline that has defaulted on its lease payments.
  • Advised a financier on leasing multiple aircraft to a new Thailand-based airline.
  • Represented a multinational air carrier in litigation involving cargo damages and prevailed against a global insurance company.
  • Successfully defended one of the world’s leading liner companies against multiple cargo claims brought in Thailand’s Intellectual Property and International Trade Court.
  • Advised a major Korean airline on the termination of employees in Thailand based on poor performance. We reviewed the client’s extensive internal employment policies, work rules, and assessment criteria. We then issued specific recommendations on how the client should revise its policies and procedures to ensure that the company is in full compliance with Thai law.
  • Assisted an African airline with setting up a representative office in Hanoi.