• Share
  • Email
  • Print

Sidanth Rajagopal

Partner
+44.(0)20.7360.8189
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Sidanth Rajagopal is a partner in the K&L Gates aviation finance group and operates out of London and Dubai. He is recognised as having expertise in a broad range of complex cross-border aviation finance matters. Mr. Rajagopal provides key commercial and technical advice throughout the deal cycle, but counsels clients in the following key areas; financing, leasing, purchasing, restructuring and repossessions for both commercial aircraft (fleet and individual) and business jets and also works alongside clients on equity capital markets and debt capital market transactions. This experience includes innovative financing structures involving Sharia-compliant aircraft leasing, insurance-backed finance, PDP financing and structuring majority share purchases in AIM listed entities, setting up funds focused on aviation assets and other aviation business acquisitions.

Although experienced across various geographies, Mr. Rajagopal is best known as one of the leading aviation finance experts in relation to South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Correspondingly, Mr. Rajagopal’s global clientele include emerging and established airlines, leasing companies, private equity investors, and asset financing banks.

Mr. Rajagopal has been recognised by leading aviation industry commentators. In recognition of his practice, he is the recipient of Airline Economics 40 under 40 in 2018. Earmarked as a thought leader in the field, commentary on him included, ‘A flock of satisfied clients wrote of his “tremendous commercial understanding on the issues which leads to innovative solutions” as well as his dedication to “deliberate improvement” and “progressive excellence”. Mr. Rajagopal is also named in Legal 500, Indian Business Law Journal, Asia Law Leading Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal. Mr. Rajagopal’s market insights is consistently solicited by the aviation industry and he regularly speaks at industry conferences and contributes to industry publications.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rajagopal was a partner in the London office of an international law firm, where he concentrated his practice on aviation finance. He has also been a partner at the Dubai and New Delhi offices of an international law firm.

Achievements

  • Listed in Airline Economics 40 under 40, 2018
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, Expert Guides - Aviation, 2014 - 2019
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, Who’s Who Legal, 2012
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, Asia Law Leading Lawyers, 2013
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, India Business Law Journal 2015- 2018
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, Corporate Jet Investor
  • Leading lawyer in Aviation, Corporate Jet Investor

Additional Information

Publications
  • Airline Economics: The Indian National Aviation Policy 2016: An Analysis.
  • Advising Veling Ltd on their structured financing of 1 airbus A380 for Emirates (which was awarded the China Cross Border Deal of the Year 2018 by Air Finance Journal).
  • Advising Solenta Aviation Group on their purchase of the majority stake of Fastjet plc.
  • Advising the Kayan group on setting up their leasing platform and purchase of Plane Business Limited.
  • Advised flydubai in their AFIC financing of 3 Boeing 737 Max8 Aircraft.
  • Advised flydubai, the UAE’s largest low cost carrier, on the sale and lease back of six Boeing B737-8MAX aircraft and the restructuring of 3 Boeing B737-8NG aircraft.
  • Advised Spicejet Limited, one of India’s largest low cost carrier, on its sale and leaseback of 8 Boeing 737-MAX8 Aircraft.
  • Advised Enter Air on their sale and lease back of 2 Boeing 737-Max aircraft financed by DVB.
  • Advised Veling Ltd. on the conventional and Islamic financing of 1 Airbus A380 for Emirates.
  • Advised Veling Ltd. on their Islamic financing of 1 Airbus A380 for Emirates (which was awarded the Middle East Leasing Deal of the Year 2017 by Airline Economics).
  • Advised the Kayan Aviation Group on their first Islamic financing of 1 Airbus A380 Aircraft.
  • Advised Spicejet on their predelivery financing and subsequent operating lease with CDB leasing.
  • Advising Veling Ltd. on the lease restructuring of 3 B777-200 Aircraft to IR Aero in Russia.
  • Advised ACIA Aero Capital on the restructuring of five ATR72-500 Aircraft leases to Pakistan International Airways.
  • Advising SpiceJet on their 200 aircraft order from Boeing and Bombardier (which won the India deal of the year by India Business Law Journal 2017).
  • Advising flydubai on the sale and leaseback of two Boeing B737-MAX8 aircraft from FPG-Amentum.
  • Advising Kayan Aviation Group on setting up a leasing platform and in setting up an aviation fund focusing on secondary sales.
  • Advised Spicejet on various sale and leaseback transactions with (a) Fly leasing for 2 Boeing 737-Max8 aircraft; (b) Bank of China Aviation for 3 Boeing 737-Max8 aircraft; and (c) Avolon for 3 Boeing 737-Max8 aircraft.
  • Advised ACIA Aero Capital restructuring existing export credit financing from Export Development Canada in relation to 5 ATR 72-500 aircraft and thereafter a structured lease of these aircraft to FastJet PLC.
  • Advising a high-net worth individual on the restructuring of their financing for a G450 aircarft.
  • Advising a large Indian airline on restructuring the airline and various “work-out” agreements with Lessors.
  • Advising a start-up Indian airline on their first aircraft lease agreement and subsequent aircraft purchase with Embraer.
  • Advised Air France on their JOLCO transactions in relation to one Embraer E170 and one Airbus A330 aircraft.
  • Advised Kenya Airways on various B737 operating lease agreements.
  • Advised Kenya Airways on their purchase 10 Embraer E190 aircraft.