Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, today announced two senior leaders who will be responsible for guiding the planned Virgin America subsidiary upon transaction close, expected early in the fourth quarter this year.
Peter Hunt, currently Virgin America senior vice president and chief financial officer, will serve as president of Alaska Air Group’s Virgin America subsidiary until the airlines obtain a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), expected in early 2018.
“Peter is a proven and trusted leader at Virgin America and is well-positioned to lead the airline and its teammates through the transition,” said Brad Tilden, chairman and CEO of Alaska Air Group. “His understanding of the Virgin America brand, as well as its guests, will be invaluable as we work to build on the success Virgin America has achieved in nine short years.”
In addition to his role as chief operating officer and president of Alaska Airlines, Ben Minicucci will serve as chief executive officer of Virgin America effective with the acquisition’s close.
Hunt will report to Minicucci.
As the day-to-day leader of Virgin America, Hunt will be responsible for leading all aspects of the airline’s operations until the FAA grants Alaska a single operating certificate.
Earlier this year, Alaska and Virgin America agreed to combine to create the premier airline for people on the West Coast. With an expanded West Coast presence, a larger customer base, and an enhanced platform for growth, the combined airline will be positioned to provide more choices to customers, increase competition and deliver attractive returns to investors.
Hunt was named senior vice president and CFO of Virgin America in July 2011. Before that, he served as vice president and CFO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., where he oversaw the financial aspects of an airline with over $1 billion in annual revenue.
Hunt began his aviation career at Continental Airlines in 1996, where he served in several finance positions including managing director of corporate finance. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Georgetown University.