Katten congratulates partner Stewart Herman for structuring, negotiating and documenting the sale-leaseback and freighter-conversion financing for three Boeing 767-300ER passenger aircraft in the fleet of Ethiopian Airlines. The transaction was awarded 2022 Freighter Finance Deal of the Year on January 16, 2023 at the Airline Economics Dublin 2023 industry conference.

Stewart, assisted by Anne Rehders (paralegal, DC), acted as transaction and drafting legal counsel to The Transportation Group, the mandated sole arranger for the transaction. Borrowing concepts from predelivery-payment financing of new aircraft and project finance, Stewart developed and persuaded the airline and the freighter conversion contractor for the aircraft to enter into a first-ever "step in" agreement, allowing the finance parties to protect their interests by "stepping in" as the freighter conversion customer if necessary in order to complete the freighter conversion in accordance with the transaction documentation.