Dentons has advised Czech airline Smartwings on its out-of-court restructuring and CZK 2 billion financing from UniCredit Bank, Komercni Banka, Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka, and Ceska Sporitelna, which will allow it to continue operating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. White & Case advised the lenders, and Allen & Overy, Holland & Knight, and Norton Rose advised selected lessors on the deal. AK Zizlavsky advised Smartwings on insolvency law aspects.
The Export Guarantee and Insurance Company secured the loan as part of the Czech government’s COVID Plus program to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
According to Dentons, “prior to the pandemic, Smartwings Group was a profitable airline and one of the fastest-growing in Central Europe. However, due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, it recorded an unprecedented drop in revenue and had to implement a number of restructuring measures, including the layoff of 600 people and the implementation of a creditor-supported moratorium. The financing deal, which concluded the moratorium, will allow Smartwings to finance its operations for the coming financial period. The airline will operate flights not only from the Czech Republic, but also from Poland, France, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Canary Islands.”
Dentons’ team included, in Prague, Partner Jiri Tomola, Counsel Vaclav Zalud, Senior Associate Martin Mandulak, Associates Katerina Pracna, Diana Herdzinova, Sona Baranova, Ondrej Vales, Eva Klimova, and David Sutko, and Paralegal Bohdan Chrenovsky; in Budapest, Partner Gergely Horvath and Associates Kinga Kovacs, Gabriella Pataki, Bence Boszormenyi, and Nora Nagy; in Warsaw, Partners Tomasz Trocki, Mateusz Toczyski, and Bartosz Nojek and Associate Magda Kulesza; in Bratislava, Partners Stanislava Valientova and Peter Kubina, Counsel Patricia Gossanyiova, and Associates Richard Marcincin, Petra Strbova, and Bianca Bohmova; in Munich, Counsels Surbhi Malhotra-Trenkel and Carl Bjarnram; in London, Partners Stephen Temple and Ian Fox and Counsel Luci Mitchell-Fry; and in Dublin, Partner Gareth Steen.
Zizlavsky's team included Partners Michal Zizlavsky and Adam Sigmund and Counsel Roman Machacek.
Allen & Overy's Prague-based team included Counsels Petra Mysakova and Petr Sprinz, Senior Associates Robert Pavlu, and Associates Martin Bytcanek and Jiri Rahm.
Editor's Note: After this article was published, the Prague office of Clifford Chance announced that it advised selected lessors and other creditors on the restructuring. The firm's team consisted of Partner Milos Felgr, Associate Tereza Rehorova, and Senior Associates Dominik Vojta and Vladimir Rylich.