DLA Piper has advised AviaAM Financial Leasing China (AviaAM) on the acquisition, financing, leasing and delivery of eight Airbus A320 family aircraft for circa US$500 million.

Debt funding for the acquisition was provided by China Development Bank, Henan branch and the aircraft have each gone on a 12-year lease to the largest Russian air carrier, Aeroflot. The first three aircraft were all delivered on the same day with two delivered in Toulouse and one in Hamburg.

AviaAM was established as a joint venture between AviaAM Leasing (a Warsaw Stock Exchange listed aircraft leasing company) and Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA). AviaAM has expertise in narrow-body aircraft leasing, trading and management and aviation-related business and infrastructure development.

The cross-border DLA Piper team included lawyers from London, Shanghai and Moscow. The team was led by Finance partner Richard Skipper in London with assistance from associate Alison Balfour and included Asia senior partner Roy Chan, senior associate Luanne Lu and legal assistant David Zhang in Shanghai and partner Anna Otkina, legal director Philip Lamzin and senior associate Dmitry Perekrestov in Moscow. In addition, the team coordinated with legal counsel in Ireland, Bermuda and New York.

Domas Girtavicius, General Manager, AviaAM said: "We are pleased to see the Aeroflot - Russian Airlines' eight new Airbus aircraft leasing project completed. The deal is a strategic milestone for AviaAM Financial Leasing China, as a successful One Belt One Road policy example supported by China Development Bank. Many thanks to the DLA Piper team led by Richard Skipper for the legal support on this complex transaction."

Richard Skipper said: "Our international cross-border team been very privileged to not only assist in the inaugural financing, acquisition and leasing transactions for AviaAM but also to be part of the first investment by China Development Bank, Henan branch, into the Russian aviation market. This marks a great contribution to the One Belt One Road infrastructure initiative and a growth of regional economic cooperation within the Henan province."