St. Joe buys Southwest for Panama City

St. Joe essentially bought the Southwest Airlines business for Panama City — guaranteeing to cover any losses up to $26 million over two years.

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.

Southwest will provide air service to the new Northwest Florida international airport in Bay County consisting of at least two scheduled flights per day to each of four separate flight destinations in the Southwest network. The air service will commence on or about the opening of the new airport, which is currently scheduled for May 2010.

We don’t have business in this community that could match that offer. St. Joe is heavily invested into real estate and sees it as a means to market its properties.

Read SEC-JOE-1299933-09-4137