First things first…

May 10, 2005

Jet Blue (JBLU) wanna-be FlyI (FLYI), which said yesterday that its first quarter Q would be delayed, did file revised severance agreements with its top three executives yesterday. Back in March, the struggling airline that is also known as Independence Air announced that the top three executives had voluntarily reduced their salary, which the company said would save it $2.2 million over the next fiscal year. The execs also gave up oodles of underwater stock options (oh…the sacrifice!). But everyone knows that most top executives don’t give up something without getting something better in return and in an 8-K filed yesterday, FlyI provided many of the details.

Under the third revised severance agreement entered into on March 15 (but filed yesterday), Chairman and CEO Kerry Skeen, who’s only 51, has created an impressive future income stream in the 23-page document that provides retirement benefits through his 76th birthday, a five-year consulting contract that pays him 90% of his salary, over $3 million in deferred comp and three times his salary in the event of a change-in-control, which given the stock’s sagging price, certainly seems within the realm of possibility.

FlyI’s two other top execs didn’t manage to get quite the array of goodies, but yesterday’s filing — all 69 pages of it — still makes for interesting reading. At the very least, it shows where FlyI’s priorities are: it can manage to complete some complicated severance agreements, but can’t manage to file its Q on time. Perhaps if they refocused their priorities, the stock could actually climb above a buck.

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