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CEOs Sound Off on Economy, Energy, Airlines & More

Former and current CEOs across various industries discussed the economy, energy prices, the state of the airline industry and more on CNBC this morning. Here's what they had to say:

Relying on American Natural Gas

“We have decades and decades of…gas reserves that are there…we know we have extendibility to that and that we can rely on this fuel to start to move our transportation network away from expensive, imported oil to an American-produced product called natural gas.”

Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy CEO

Airlines & Fuel Costs

“I tend to think we’re going to see a drop in oil continuing. I believe oil will be down around $90 a barrel or lower after the first of the year, and you look at all the changes the airlines have made to deal with a need for more revenue coming in and plus cutting capacity, so that’s a good combination going forward looking to 2009.”

Ron Allen, Former Delta Air Lines CEO
(Contd.)

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Coca-Cola’s Olympic Sponsorship

“We know it is a long-term branding opportunity. It is not something that gives you a major uptick in sales. You get an uptick in sales, but it’s long-term branding, and now we’re in China, and China…is clearly on the move. It is now our fourth largest market in the world already, and we’re using this to connect not just with the world and all the people that are interested in the great spectacle of the Olympics, but really with the Chinese people.”

Neville Isdell, Coca-Cola Chairman

State of the Airlines

"I think the things that are in place now need to stay in place. I do think that oil is an extraordinarily big leverage on the airline's bottom line, and if oil prices do come down, obviously airline earnings are going to go up. The recent move from $147 down to $120 is obviously a help, but oil needs to come down a little bit more, and I think airlines will perform very well in that regard, if that happens."

Douglas Steenland, Northwest Airlines CEO

Karmazin on Sirius-XM Merger

"If you just take a look at the trailing 12 months revenue of the combined company, we have $2.2 billion...That's probably a number greater than most people think about when they think about satellite radio. That makes us the second largest radio company in the United States. Only Clear Channel will have higher revenue, and their growth -- there is no growth -- we're growing dramatically."

Mel Karmazin, Sirius XM Radio CEO

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