Force Majeure: HFW’s Gordon Gardiner and Justin Sun on Aviation Contracts After Covid-19 (Part 1)

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ASG’s Max Buirski sits down with HFW Aerospace Partners Gordon Gardiner and Justin Sun to discuss the meaning of Force Majeure after Covid-19, differences between mainland Chinese and Hong Kong law, what Covid-19 means for aviation contracts now and in the future, the particularities of leasing contracts, arbitration, which commercial aviation sectors will recover first, liability for airlines and how new screening procedures might look, and if airline bailouts will effectively nationalize commercial aviation. Please look for Part 2 of this podcast, covering business aviation and the life of a law firm during Covid-19, which will run during ASG’s Fleet Week on April 23rd.

Main Content

(3:10)

What does Force Majeure mean in the age of Covid-19

(4:50)

Within APAC force majeure is not an unusual event because of natural disasters

(5:20)

Why you could argue that it’s an act of Government rather than an act of G-d and what contracts should detail for maximum protection

(6:15)

Force majeure is defined in the Chinese legal system, but in Hong Kong, it depends on the specific legal contract

(6:55)

What does this mean for airlines which have just placed new orders, and why the particular legal system matters

(9:40)

How the leasing companies factor in and why leasing contracts have no force majeure clause

(12:00)

How the risks of future pandemics will factor into future aerospace contracts, and preparing yourself for arbitration

(15:11)

Why APAC will emerge first and domestic leisure travel will recover before corporate travel

(16:22)

The liability for an airline regarding Covid-19 even if governments lift travel restrictions, and how airlines will adapt passenger screening

(20:34)

Will Government bailouts effectively nationalize the global airline industry, and will Chinese SOE carriers have an advantage

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