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2016/04/01 第113期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 More No-Frills Fares on the Horizon/3家美國老牌航空 也推廉價機票
A Malaise in Tech Spreads/新創光環不再? 科技業的不安蔓延中
More No-Frills Fares on the Horizon/3家美國老牌航空 也推廉價機票
Stephanie Rosenbloom

Rock-bottom fares once unique to low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier may, in the coming months, be offered by all three of the nation's legacy airlines, American, United and Delta.

Great news for you and your wallet, right? The answer isn't so clear-cut.



Spirit Airlines cemented its no-frills reputation a couple of years ago when it declared itself the "home of the bare fare": a ticket that doesn't include a seat assignment, a checked bag, even water. Frontier also offers bargain fares that don't include seat assignments, in-flight entertainment and checked or carry-on bags as well as a slightly more costly package called "the works," with privileges such as being able to choose your seat and bring a carry-on bag. Unwilling to lose customers in certain markets where the low-cost airlines fly, major domestic airlines are rolling out their own no-frills fares.


Delta was the first to take the plunge, introducing "basic economy" fares on routes where it wanted to compete with discount carriers. Basic economy tickets do not include advance seat assignments. They cannot be changed or refunded (after a one-day grace period). And there are no free upgrades for anyone.


Last year Delta put a number of changes to the fare rules into effect and announced that basic economy had spread to more than 450 markets since its introduction in 2012. Now the other big domestic carriers plan to follow suit. United said during its quarterly earnings call in January that it plans to introduce an entry-level fare "that will appeal to the purely price sensitive customer" in the second half of this year. American Airlines said during its quarterly call that it will roll out the first phase of a basic economy product in the same time frame.


For the most cost-conscious travelers, no-frills fares allow them to afford certain trips that they might not otherwise have been able to take. And, of course, no-frills fares are good for the airlines.


A Malaise in Tech Spreads/新創光環不再? 科技業的不安蔓延中
Mark Scott

At the offices of Deliveroo, a food delivery startup with headquarters in an upmarket neighborhood here, signs of activity are everywhere. The communal kitchen hums with 20-something developers. A gold-painted scooter, which co-founder William Shu once used to make deliveries, stands in the center of the office as people bustle about.

The frenetic pace belies a more cautious approach that Shu, 36, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker, has recently started taking at the startup.

在餐點外送新創事業Deliveroo位於這高級社區的總部辦公室裡,處處展現著活力。公用廚房裡有許多20來歲的軟體開發者,顯得熱鬧非凡,共同創辦人William Shu曾用來送餐、漆成金色的速克達,就放在辦公室中央人來人往的地方。


Over the last year, Shu has urged colleagues to be more circumspect with growth plans, forgoing rapid expansion in competitive markets like the United States to focus on places where Deliveroo already has a loyal following. And while the startup has raised almost $200 million, employs roughly 400 people worldwide and operates in 12 countries, Shu says profitability — and not just aggressive growth to beat rivals to new markets — is increasingly important as the company moves beyond its British roots.

"We need to make the economics work," he said. "We have to understand that every round of funding must be treated as our last."



The focus at Deliveroo is symptomatic of a change across many European startups. Just as in Silicon Valley, where a number of privately held tech companies have been stung by lower valuations and investor questions about their sustainability, that same unease has now reached Europe's tech community, in a sign that a move away from soaring boom times in startups is going global.


Driving the pullback are some of the same forces that have caused a change in Silicon Valley's startup scene. Tech stocks are gyrating because of fears of a global economic slowdown — exacerbated in Europe by the region's migrant crisis and persistent financial problems. Valuations of some startups worldwide got ahead of themselves. As a result, venture capitalists in Europe and farther afield are becoming more cautious about funding local startups that do not have proven business ideas.

"When Silicon Valley sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold," said Fred Destin, a partner at the London office of Accel Partners, a venture capital firm.


創投公司Accel Partners倫敦辦公室合夥人戴斯汀說:「矽谷打噴嚏,全球就感冒。」

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