WHEN: Today, Monday, April 4th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Virgin America CEO David Cush and Alaska Air CEO Brad Tilden on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, April 4th. Following is a link to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000506724.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
David Cush, Virgin America CEO:
CUSH ON STRONG OFFER
I will say price was a primary thing here. You know, that we understand what our fiduciary duty is. They were both qualified buyers so ultimately, it came down to price. We thought the Alaska plan was a very good plan. It was about establishing a powerhouse on the west coast that would have strong presences in Seattle, San Francisco, and L.A., so we like that. And very simply, they came in with a very strong offer.
CUSH ON EXITING
I will work with Brad through the integration. The day after the close, I will exit gracefully, let's say.
CUSH ON GOOD TIME TO DO DEAL
This isn't about today. It's really about down the road when maybe the industry isn't as strong, or oil prices go up and what happens when you got a $2 billion airline like Virgin America trying to compete with $40 billion airlines. So I think it's a good time to do it when carriers are strong rather than when carriers are weak, which really dictated the last consolidation cycle.
Brad Tilden, Alaska Air CEO:
TILDEN ON THE VIRGIN BRAND
I think what we'll do going forward is the Alaska brand will definitely stay and we're going to work with the company and begin to understand the power of the Virgin America brand in the next little bit. And we're going to look at ways that we might use it well into the future. And we don't – we can't say more than that now, but I do know from looking at Virgin's numbers that that brand brings a lot of revenue, a lot of profit to the company. So we'll be looking at what we might do with it down the road.
TILDEN ON THE INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
The industry has gone through a fundamental restructuring. In the old days, airlines wanted to fly one of every airplane. They wanted to fly to every city in the country. People are more focused on shareholders today. They're more focused on returns. I think the industry structure is a lot healthier than it was in the past.
TILDEN ON OIL PRICES
I think this transaction makes sense at any oil price. We're an airline and it's a good airline for us to be with. And what we have to do is deal with the oil prices environment that we're in.
With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.
CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include CNBC.com, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps.
Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/.