I have started duplicating most of my comments on "Sidewiki", a Google service that puts them on a sidebar that the page owner can't remove or edit. Only other Sidewiki accounts can see the sidebar, but Google may be big enough to keep it going. It is kind of controversial as page owners obviously won't like it. It is the only way to comment on sites like "The New PFN" that don't enable comments. Get a pseudonymous Gmail account and take a look.in reference to: The News Herald : Homepage (view on Google Sidewiki)
Friday, October 30, 2009
This is getting WAY off topic, but the user guidelines are readily available.
THE WHOLE THING:
THE MONEY PARAGRAPH:
Therefore, we reserve the right, but undertake no duty, to review, edit, move, or delete any User Content provided for display or placed on the Service, AT OUR SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION (emphasis added by donhodges), without notice to the person who submitted such User Content.
Oh, it also says Freedom has unlimited rights to every word or derivative work. So, in view of these limited rights, I maybe should have an alternative way to comment (mentioning that apparently aroused Mr. ABSOLUTE DISCRETION).
I appreciate the forums and article comments, and I am one of few who makes my name obvious in most posts, here and elsewhere. This is the first time I have ever had a post taken down.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I AM NOT A LAWYER (thank God), but it is arguable that the appointments are not valid, if not illegal. The statute controlling the authority does not provide any advisory positions, nor a way for the members to appoint more than one position, nor for the membership to exceed 5 positions. Also, the boundaries of the special district are the same as the boundaries of Bay County, although the district can own property in other counties with their consent (this is necessary to locate ground-based navigation aids for instrument approaches in Washington County).
There is also language that says the authority can do almost anything business-wise to fulfill its public purpose, so it is essentially free to do anything not constrained by a court. For example, the district spent $millions designing its project on land it did not own at a time when its boundaries were confined to the present airport and Lynn Haven Industrial Park. It also pledged land it did not own as 50% share of FDOT grants, after inflating the "projects" to obtain 100% of the actual cost as a 50/50 grant.
The legislature has not exerted any oversight on the authority, and the only recourse for objection is the courts, wherein a plantiff can spend its own money while the authority uses grant money. It also leads to strange consequences like the Florida FDOT granting funds for the authority to pay fines to the Florida FDEP. That means asterisque has very little leverage, but does not mean he is "jumping" anywhere. From his posts I would guess he follows the issue as closely as anybody, and will enjoy flying Southwest too. This is about "process" and public responsibility, not blind obstruction.
"I AM NOT A LAWYER (thank God), but it is arguable that the appointments are not valid, if not illegal. The statute controlling the authority does not provide any advisory positions, nor a way for the members to appoint more than one position, nor for the membership to exceed 5 positions. Also, the boundaries of the special district are the same as the boundaries of Bay County, although the district can own property in other counties with their consent (this is necessary to locate ground-based navigation aids for instrument approaches in Washington County).There is also language that says the authority can do almost anything business-wise to fulfill its public purpose, so it is essentially free to do anything not constrained by a court. For example, the district spent $millions designing its project on land it did not own at a time when its boundaries were confined to the present airport and Lynn Haven Industrial Park. It also pledged land it did not own as 50% share of FDOT grants, after inflating the "projects" to obtain 100% of the actual cost as a 50/50 grant.The legislature has not exerted any oversight on the authority, and the only recourse for objection is the courts, wherein a plantiff can spend its own money while the authority uses grant money. It also leads to strange consequences like the Florida FDOT granting funds for the authority to pay fines to the Florida FDEP. That means asterisque has very little leverage, but does not mean he is "jumping" anywhere. From his posts I would guess he follows the issue as closely as anybody, and will enjoy flying Southwest too. This is about "process" and public responsibility, not blind obstruction."
- Moving on to the next doomed project - CAZ - The News Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
1 Pfizer Inc $12,563
2 American Assn of Orthopaedic Surgeons $10,000
2 AmeriPAC: The Fund for a Greater America $10,000
2 Blue Dog PAC $10,000
2 Florida Citrus Mutual $10,000
2 United Parcel Service $10,000
7 Koch Industries $9,000
8 Altria Group $8,500
8 National Restaurant Assn $8,500
10 Cauthen, Forbes & Williams $8,000
11 American College of Surgeons Prof Assn $7,500
11 Comcast Corp $7,500
11 PricewaterhouseCoopers $7,500
14 American Trucking Assns $7,000
14 Indep Insurance Agents & Brokers/America $7,000
14 Wal-Mart Stores $7,000
17 Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn $6,000
17 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $6,000
17 National Assn of Broadcasters $6,000
20 Van Scoyoc Assoc $5,752
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Bill Owen is Southwest Route Planning Exec, and he said on the company blog (responding to several comments disappointed that Pensacola was not selected, and the relative weakness of the PFN market):
Good Thursday afternoon, everyone!
Thanks for all of the good wishes and support. And to those of you out there that are expressing disappointment that our new city announcement was not Pensacola, guys, please understand this was never a competition between the two. This was not an "either/or" decision. We know enough to understand that the two are distinct, different markets, and we remain interested in Pensacola. However, the combination of a new airport and the alliance with St. Joe led us to believe that it was time in May of 2010 to "do" Panama City.
Hope that explanation eases the disappointment! Keep those comments coming, and thanks!
Bill Owen — Thu, 10/22/2009 - 15:25
Taking the airline viewpoint a little further, here's another way to look at it: SW had a profit of $178 M, a margin of 1.6% on $11 Billion revenue in 2008 INCLUDING $329 Million gained on fuel hedging. So, to earn $14 Million that St Joe sends in a wire transfer quarterly, SW would have to sell $875 Million in tickets over their system and continue to gain significantly on hedges.
This way they get the $14M on $20 to $30M in sales during a couple of difficult years overall. Not a bad deal. Delta used to sell an aging airplane or a delivery slot to stay profitable in a bad quarter (the good old days when Delta owned a lot of airplanes). The $8 or $10 M gain was like selling $500 Million more tickets at 2% margin, and for many years extended a run of profitable quarters.
I don't think Delta will quit (among the reasons, Delta has contracts to sell tickets to the military at bulk fares) but they will cut back to the minimum service that supports international and military travel. The Memphis hub may not survive the Delta-Northwest merger once the labor issues are settled, but that decision would affect all Memphis service, not just PFN. Delta (and particularly "Delta Connection") have justly earned a bad reputation here, so 2 or 3 years in the wilderness is in order. When the market becomes rational again we'll see how they compete. Southwest has a subsidized laboratory to test the extent of the "Southwest Effect".in reference to: The News Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)
Friday, October 23, 2009
Too many sites (politicians, government, corporate propaganda) don't allow comments and are taking positions that demand discussion. I see the vast potential for abuse but I also see an opportunity to participate without an invitation.
If it becomes an embarrassment I'll have to reconsider, but for now I'm in.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
JOE is guaranteeing up to $14M the first year and $12M the second year. At average fare of $114, each percentage point below break even costs $450,000 per year, so in order for JOE to be out $14M, LF would have to be 31 points below break-even. Break-even is around 70%, so actual LF would be about 40% or 54 passengers per 136 seat plane.
Since SW had all the leverage in this deal, 40% must be about the low end of their forecast for the market. If SW adjusts the break-even calculation for below-average fares, JOE could owe more/sooner. At $99 fare, break-even LF would go up to 80% and JOE's guarantee would max out at 50% LF or 68 passengers per plane. There will be such a sudden increase in seats that its hard to foresee the fares; it would take extremely low fares to fill the planes and below about $79 SW can't break-even with full planes.
Delta will probably cut back to a few flights to feed the international hubs, and these flights will have fares with low increments above the hub-to-intl-destination fare, but high domestic-destination fares to assure the planes can accommodate the intl demand. This is an extreme version of Delta's present fare policy that prices PFN-ATL very high to assure seats for all "beyond-ATL" traffic. Such a response by Delta will leave SW free to experiment with maximizing revenues under almost unlimited supply conditions, seeking a fare level that would be profitable after the JOE "put" is gone.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
St. Joe owns hundreds of thousands of acres in the service area of the new airport, including approximately 71,000 acres of land surrounding the new airport. St. Joe believes that the introduction of low-cost air service to the region will make the region more accessible to a broader market and significantly enhance the value of these lands, as well as other St. Joe properties in Northwest Florida.
Given the current state of the U.S. economy and the airline industry, new airline service must be positioned as an economic development initiative with broad regional support. St. Joe has been working alongside a number of regional organizations in its effort to secure the financial commitments to support the new air service.
St. Joe has agreed, to the extent that Southwest operates at a loss, to make quarterly cash payments to Southwest to cover shortfalls in the results of Southwest's operations at the new airport during the first three years of service. For purposes of the break even calculation, the agreement establishes fixed amounts for Southwest's non-fuel expenses and the minimum revenues that will be attributable to the air service. It also provides that Southwest's profits from the air service during the term of the agreement will be shared with St. Joe up to the maximum amount of St. Joe's prior break even payments.
The term of the agreement extends for a period of three years after the commencement of Southwest's air service at the new airport. The agreement may be terminated by St. Joe if the payments to Southwest exceed $14 million in the first year of air service, or $12 million in the second year of air service. St. Joe may also terminate the agreement if Southwest has not commenced air service to the new airport within 90 days of its opening. Southwest may terminate the agreement if its actual annual revenues attributable to the air service at the new airport are less than certain minimum annual amounts established in the agreement.
Southwest's obligation to commence air service to the new airport is conditioned upon: (1) the certification of the new airport by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration on or before April 15, 2010; (2) receipt by the local Airport Authority of a certificate of occupancy for the new airport on or before April 15, 2010; (3) the execution of satisfactory agreements between Southwest and the Airport Authority authorizing Southwest to use and lease space at the new airport and to receive any cost mitigation measures that may be available from the Airport Authority; (4) the execution of an agreement between Southwest, the Bay County Tourist Development Council, the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council, no later than 30 days from the date of the agreement, regarding the coordination of marketing resources and efforts for the air service; (5) the execution of an agreement between Southwest and Coastal Vision 3000, no later than 60 days from the date of the agreement, regarding the establishment of a program through which Southwest would receive available room nights free of charge at various rental properties in Northwest Florida for use in the marketing efforts for the air service; and (6) the execution of any other agreement that Southwest deems necessary or appropriate prior to the commencement of the air service.
Southwest has agreed that it will not commence air service to any airport within 80 statute miles of the new airport during the term of the agreement. In the event Southwest starts service to any airport that is more than 80 statute miles but within 120 statute miles from the new airport during the term, Southwest and St. Joe will either negotiate a modification to the terms of the agreement to accommodate the impact of such service or the minimum revenues used in the annual break even calculations under the agreement will automatically be increased by 10%. In such event, Southwest has agreed that the air service to the new airport in Bay County would not be diminished.
Additional information may be found in St. Joe's press release dated October 21, 2009, a copy of which is filed as exhibit 99.1 hereto and is incorporated by reference herein.
Gary Kelly just said it'll be its 69th city. So there you go. Close blog readers knew ahead of time, so that's your reward if you're reading us closely. May is the start for eight daily flights spread among four cities to be named later.
"I kind of feel like Oprah," Gary says, as he tells the news to an internet connection to the folks there in Florida.
"We have been overwhelmed by the amount of energy that Panhandle residents have put on Southwest Airlines to start service to that area," he said.
I've got to believe there's a very large incentive package coming to Southwest for this brand-new airport. Press release cites local tourism groups as part of the incentives.
There's a twist: They're doing a "strategic partnership" with the St. Joe Co. where the St. Joe Co. ensures that Southwest will break even on the service for the first three years. Very interesting. The risk was too high, Kelly said, since there's no history there. St. Joe Co. - a huge real estate entity in Florida -- will make up any differences to keep the service there. So they're basically buying the service, to some degree. Interesting.
The agreement gives St. Joe an out after 2 years if things are bad: Southwest can exit too under certain circumstances. "It's an innovative approach," Kelly said.
in reference to: The News Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)