Bethune: Trump is a businessman, whether you like his personality or not

Bethune: Optimistic Trump will be better for business

Despite what people's opinions may be on Donald Trump's personality or temperament, his business knowledge cannot be ignored, according to former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune.

Bethune shared with CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report" on Thursday, "There may be some rough spots at the beginning [of his presidency], but the general principles of business, profitability and return on investment capital are understood by Mr. Trump. I think we have a general drift of pro-business and that's what's giving us the optimism."

A report released today by the International Air Transport Association says airline profits will fall in 2017 due to rising oil prices and slowing demand, but Bethune believes airline businesses should still come out profitable.

"What they're talking about is maybe a diminishing amount of margins but certainly not a negative margin," Bethune said. "This would be, should it happen, the fifth consecutive year of profitability, so it's really on a roll. [Airlines] may not be as great as it was year over year, but it's still profitable."

Bethune continued his optimistic business projections by defining what he meant by government being pro-business.

"I think there's a business sense in the government today that hasn't been there for a while," Bethune said. "We have a steady approach to the cost of capital, return on investment capital and at least an expectation that the government understands those terms."

When asked about Trump's Boeing tweet that caused an uproar earlier in the week, Bethune responded saying Mr. Trump probably just got a "wide awakening" on the reality of the costs associated with producing a 747.

"You know, every time you see a Boeing price tag, you think you're in astronomy class because the number is so big. I think Mr. Trump just had a wide awakening of what custom-making a 747 costs," Bethune said. "Now you can buy an off-the-line 747 at a third of that money, but if you load it up with all the requirements the government has, that's a one-time nonrecurring cost and it's a hell of a price tag."