Iryna Nikolaieva

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Iryna V. Nikolaieva is an associate based in the New York office and is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department and Aviation Practice Group. She concentrates her practice on a wide variety of domestic and international financing projects, including corporate financing and aircraft financing. She recently co-authored “How the EETC Structure Has Changed,” Airfinance Journal (May, 2010).

Ms. Nikolaieva joined the firm in 2000. She received a J.D. with honors in 1996 from Zaporozhye State University (Ukraine). She is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.

Ms. Nikolaieva is a member of the New York Bar.


  • American Airlines in leases of a number of vintage Embraer regional jet aircraft to ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. in connection with regional aircraft flight services pursuant to a capacity purchase agreement.
  • American Airlines in leases of a number of vintage Embraer regional jet aircraft to Trans States Airlines, LLC in connection with regional aircraft flight services pursuant to a capacity purchase agreement.
  • American Airlines in leases of 20 new E175 aircraft to Compass Airlines and related arrangements with the manufacturers in connection with regional aircraft flight services pursuant to a capacity purchase agreement.
  • American International Group in the $7.6 billion sale of its 100% interest in International Lease Finance Corporation to NYSE-listed AerCap Holdings N.V.
  • American Airlines in the aircraft financing aspects of the then largest aircraft order in aviation history, the acquisition of 460 narrowbody, single-aisle aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, with options for an additional 465 aircraft, which included approximately $13 billion of committed financing provided by the manufacturers.
  • American Airlines in its agreements with Bombardier and Embraer to purchase, in aggregate, 90 new 76-seat regional jets with options to purchase up to 130 more.
  • Delta Air Lines in arrangements in 2015 and 2016 for leases of 10 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and 14 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft from subsidiaries of CIT Group.
  • American Airlines in backstop financing arrangements for its purchase of 60 E175 aircraft from Embraer and 30 CRJ900 aircraft from Bombardier.
  • American Airlines and AMR, as special aircraft counsel, in their successful Chapter 11 proceedings involving the restructuring of complex financing arrangements relating to more than 400 aircraft generating savings in excess of $1.8 billion and to the raising of more than $9 billion of new financing through various capital markets, syndicated lending and other financing transactions. This restructuring was honored by Turnarounds & Workouts as one of a dozen “Successful Restructurings – 2013.”
  • Delta Air Lines and Comair, as special aircraft counsel, in their successful Chapter 11 proceedings, involving the refinancing of more than 275 aircraft via new debt or lease arrangements, the return or other disposition of more than 140 aircraft, the elimination of four aircraft types from Delta’s fleet and the litigation of substantial aircraft financing claims.
  • Delta Air Lines in its 2004 out-of-court restructuring of a large portion of its aircraft fleet financings.
  • American Airlines in its 2003 out-of-court restructuring in which it reached agreements with more than 100 aircraft lessors, lenders, and other creditors on cost reductions exceeding $175 million a year and $1 billion over time.
  • Crossair in a fleet acquisition/financing program in its conversion from a regional European carrier to SWISSinvolving negotiating leases to SWISS of 54 aircraft formerly operated by Swissair.
  • American Airlines in the 2001 complete restructuring of TWA’s aircraft fleet as part of American’s acquisition of assets from TWA. The restructured transactions included EETCs, operating leases, leveraged leases, two-tiered leases and engine leases and involved approximately 180 aircraft with a value of $3-$4 billion, more than 20 different lessors and dozens of lenders, trustees and other parties.
  • American Airlines in its sale-leaseback arrangements with AerCap to finance up to 35 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, for which American won Airfinance Journal’s “2012 Sale/Leaseback Deal of the Year” award.
  • American Airlines in its sale-leaseback arrangements with ILFC to finance up to 15 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • American Airlines in its $276 million offering of notes secured initially by cash collateral, which was subsequently replaced with 12 Boeing aircraft.
  • AMR in the financing of 100% of the purchase price of 22 future deliveries of CRJ700 aircraft, through a combination of financings from Export Development Canada and another party.
  • American Airlines in a combined mortgage and sale-leaseback financing raising total proceeds and commitments of $1.8 billion, part of a series of financing transactions for which American won Airfinance Journal’s “2009 Editor’s Deal of the Year” award.
  • American Airlines in its 2005 sale-leaseback of 89 Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4, General Electric CF6 and Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 spare jet aircraft engines, with debt obtained in a capital markets financing.
  • Delta Air Lines in mortgage financings covering 23 Boeing aircraft.
  • Delta Air Lines in lease arrangements relating to 10 Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a large international leasing company.


  • Cornell Law School, 2000, LL.M.
  • Asser Instituut, 1998, LL.M.
  • Zaporozhye State University, 1996, J.D.

Bar Admissions:

  • New York


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