K&L Gates Advises Japan Airlines on Landmark Airbus Deal

Global law firm K&L Gates recently represented Japanese carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) in a landmark deal that has the company acquiring 31 of aircraft manufacturer Airbus’ A350 planes, along with options for a further 25 aircraft. This marks JAL’s first-ever order with Airbus, in addition to the largest order for the A350 in 2013.

JAL and Airbus aim to introduce the new planes into service beginning in 2019, with the A350 gradually replacing the airline’s fleet over a six-year period.

Tokyo-based partners Keiji Isaji, Atsushi Yamashita, and Robert Melson led the K&L Gates team that advised JAL, along with London partner Trevor Beadle. They were assisted by counsel Tsuguhito Omagari and associate Nobuhiro Kawanaka, both of the firm’s Tokyo office.

Melson commented: “This is a significant deal for JAL, who up until now almost solely relied on a competing aircraft supplier for its fleet. The deal involved lengthy negotiations with Airbus as well as reviewing multiple purchase agreements with both Airbus and engine supplier Rolls Royce. We are delighted that JAL looked to K&L Gates to advise on this major transaction, which marks a new chapter in the airline’s fleet planning.”


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