The practice group has extensive experience in handling a broad spectrum of matters related to the aviation industry including contractual, regulatory issues, financing & taxation and dispute resolution. The Aviation practice group has as its clientele, prominent international and domestic passenger and cargo airlines, MROs, aviation fuel suppliers, entrepreneurs as well as industry associations.

The Firm has represented leading aircraft manufacturers, operator (scheduled and NSOs) and financial institutions in transactions relating to acquisition of aircraft (by way of purchase and lease), aircraft components & engines. The assistance involved structuring of the transactions, negotiation, and preparation of documentation for aircraft leasing and financing, security creation etc. Further, the Firm has also advised clients with respect to registration of aircraft and handling of various compliance law issues, including those under Indian foreign exchange laws. The team has also assisted international clients in de-registration and re-possession of aircraft from Indian operators (particularly in the context of Cape Town Convention), including handling litigation and various regulatory issues in various Courts and before governmental authorities in India.

The Firm has also advised airline companies in India with respect to their compliance and operational issues.

On the disputes, the Firm has advised marquee international airlines as well as representative Industry associations on high-stakes disputes pertaining to commercial contracts, employment, cargo and ground handling, litigation with agents, passenger claims etc.

The Firm represented International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the matter of tariff fixation of major Indian airports before specialized Appellate Tribunal and Supreme Court.

The Firm has also advised the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), a statutory body constituted under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 that regulates tariff and other expenditure & fees for major airports.

The Firm has also handled issues related to foreign investment in airlines, competition commission issues, initial public offerings, financings, regulatory and other related issues for domestic airlines in India. 

Key Practice Differentiators

  • The Firm has extensive experience in handling aviation matters and, in particular, aviation leasing with expertise in advising not only airlines but also Aircraft and Engine manufacturers and Lessors. The services that the Firm provide range from preparing jurisdictional analyses, rendering of structuring advice, advising on compliance, regulatory and tax issues and advising on repossession strategies.
  • Being a pan-India Firm, it is able to service clients in any location within India where the aircraft may be located. Further, in structuring of deals, the aviation practice group is ably supported by the corporate and taxation teams.
  • Practitioners with integrated law firm and in-house aviation industry experience.
  • The team consists of aviation law experts having a niche aviation practice with industry experience as well. In matters involving repossession of aircraft from defaulting lessees, the aviation practice group draws extensive support from the litigation team.
  • The firm is one of the few firms in India with a team of aviation experts who have advised and handled aviation matters (litigative and advisory) and have the acute knowledge and industry experience in the aviation sector.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Top-Tier Firm for Aviation, Aerospace and Defence by Legal 500 Asia Pacific for (2018-2023)
    Legal 500
  • Recipient of India Law Firm Awards by IBLJ for Aviation Law 2020, 2021 and 2022
  • Sheetal Sabnis is recognised as a Recommended Lawyer by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
    Legal 500
Key Contacts
Headshot imagery of Sharmil Bhushan, Kochhar & Co.

Sharmil Bhushan

Headshot imagery of Kaveri Shrivastava, Kochhar & Co.

Kaveri Shrivastava