In an article in the Pensacola News Journal, writer Carlton Proctor is open with his resentment towards Southwest Airlines in an unrealistic bash on the popular airline. Southwest Airlines recently chose the New Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport as their newest addition to an already vast portfolio of service areas. Proctor uses casual banter and poorly researched and inaccurate facts to make an argument that is neither relevant nor credible.
Read on to see how I break down his “paper.”
Proctor starts out by discussing that the Southwest/Panama City deal was “locked down” months ago. In his explanation towards agitation that Southwest “led” Pensacola Regional Airport to believe that they were “still in the game” he explains that Southwest should have told Pensacola officials that they didn’t have a chance. Proctor, it is obvious that you have no understanding on how exactly publicly traded companies work. It is in their best interest and the best interest of their investors to cloud all negotiations in secrecy so as avoid any insider knowledge trading infractions. If you don’t like this, talk to the SEC.
Proctor goes on to explain that Southwest had abandoned their business model and agreed to be bought for $65 million by St. Joe. So what? Times are changing and you have to be willing to look at things differently if you want to stay competitive. Besides, what’s wrong with a company taking advantage of a subsidy offered to grow? If you had the opportunity to make more money and a third party was willing to mitigate the risk, would you not do the same? This is virtually a no risk deal for Southwest. And, where did Proctor get the $65 million number? By all accounts, I can only seem to come up with $26 million, with an option to share profit with St. Joe when Southwest is successful.
The writer speaks of St. Joe as having “deep and cavernous pockets.” Funny how one statement can completely discredit an entire article. “Deep and cavernous” is so much an unrealistic exaggeration that it is difficult to even debate; maybe this statement could be compared to debating the reality of the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. Of course, for all of our young readers, surely dismiss this statement as their existence is definitely irrefutable.
Proctor explains that St. Joe owns 600,000 acres around the new Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport. Really? Don’t check your facts much, do you Proctor? Even if they owned every acre in Bay County north of Highway 388 (east of Highway 79) and west of Highway 79 (which they don’t), they would hold only 108,000 acres. This is true that they are the largest single owner of land in Bay County (and previously all of Florida, although just ousted from that standing recently), 600,000 acres around the new airport site would be a far stretch. Maybe he’s confusing this number with the total number of acres owned by St. Joe in ALL of Florida.
He closed stating that the “Southwest dance” is over for now, “it’s time to move on.”
Original article can be read here.