CNBC News Releases

CNBC Excerpts: CNBC Exclusive: CNBC's Phil LeBeau Speaks with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Today

When: Today, Wednesday, July 22

Where: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today. Following is link to video of the interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/07/22/united-airlines-ceo-revenue-coronavirus-recovery-demand-squawk-box.html.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KIRBY ON DEMAND

Demand has taken a step backwards here in July from where it was in the middle of June, but it seems to have bottomed and we expect we are kind of back where we were in late May and the demand will start to gradually recover once again as we get through the rest of the year.

KIRBY ON VACCINE TO MASSES

We really focus a lot more on revenue, because that is the best measure of demand and unfortunately it is down even more than your 72% it is down more at the moment to 83%. We think there will be a gradual recovery in that, but we don't expect to get anywhere close to normal until there is a vaccine that has been widely distributed to a large part of the population.

KIRBY ON PLATEAU UNTIL VACCINE

Our guess is that revenue will get to about 50% of what it was in 2019 in a pre-vaccine world, once we get past a vaccine and it is widely distributed we will quickly recover towards 100 percent but our guess is we are going to plateau at 50% until we get to a vaccine.

KIRBY ON NO MORE FUNDING

We are going to have to reduce the size of the airline and it is going to be until there is a widely available vaccine and because of that we are going to have to reduce employment. So I am confident that we can make it through the crisis without any more funding but it is also going to have an impact on employment.

KIRBY ON BUSINESS TRAVEL

We went through this 20 years ago when video conferencing first started and everyone thought it was going to decimate business travel and it did exactly the opposite if anything it helped grow business travel because we need to be there in person. My guess is that it will take time, it won't happen immediately, but the first time a business loses a corporate account to a sales team that took a team to dinner instead of doing a zoom call they will be back on the road.

KIRBY ON LOWER PRICES

This is unlike anything any of us have ever experienced. It is unlike anything that has happened in the history of aviation. My guess is pricing is going to go lower for the short term.

KIRBY ON CASH BURN

Unfortunately the most important metric right now is cash burn and I am proud of the fact United amongst our large peers is doing the best on that front I talked earlier about being realistic and that has helped us get to this level. I also think we will be the first to get to cash flow break even and return towards profitability.


About CNBC:

CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than 355 million people per month across all platforms. The network's 14 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 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 offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as: CNBC.com, which provides real-time financial market news and information to CNBC's investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit https://www.cnbc.com/digital-products/.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/programming/cnbc. For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit http://www.NBCUniversal.com.