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Exclusive: From legroom to airfare: How JetBlue's takeover of Spirit could change air travel –



From legroom to airfare: How JetBlue's takeover of Spirit could change air travel

#legroom #airfare #JetBlue039s #takeover #Spirit #change #air #travel

Passengers wait in line at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter at Orlando International Airport.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

Spirit Airlines relented this week and agreed to sell itself to JetBlue Airways for $3.8 billion, hours after breaking off a merger agreement with Frontier Airlines that failed to win enough shareholder support.

The new deal would mean big changes for travelers if it passes regulatory hurdles.

JetBlue has earned a reputation for passenger comforts like relatively generous legroom, seatback screens, live television, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary snacks like Cheez-Its and Stellar vegan butter pretzel braids. It also offers business class, with lie-flat seats.

Spirit, by contrast, has become a punchline for its bare-bones service. The cabins in its bright yellow planes are more cramped, and passengers have to pay extra for “optional services” like carry-on luggage and getting to pick a seat.

“It’s historic. This is the first time anyone wanted Spirit Airlines,” quipped “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert about the deal on Thursday.

Still, Spirit has expanded rapidly and profitably by offering cheap tickets to vacation hotspots that can sometimes run less than a trip to the movies or a few burgers. The airline’s “Big Front Seat,” however, does offer 36 inches of legroom for a surcharge of up to $250.


As the two distinct airlines push ahead with their plans to combine, here’s what passengers can expect:

What are JetBlue’s plans for Spirit?

JetBlue wants to get bigger, and Spirit has the planes and pilots to help it do that. The New York-based carrier plans to retrofit Spirit’s planes in JetBlue’s style, ripping out the packed-in seats for a roomier layout with more amenities.

Combined, the airlines would become the country’s fifth-largest carrier, behind American, Delta, United and Southwest. Both have a big presence in Florida and each has expanded into Central and South America as well as the Caribbean in recent years. JetBlue last year started flying to London.

The two carriers will continue to operate as separate airlines until after the deal closes, which is subject to regulatory approval. Afterward, passengers might be confused if they’re flying in Spirit planes that haven’t been retrofitted yet.

JetBlue has some experience with such situations through its alliance with American in the Northeast, which allows the carriers to sell seats on each others’ planes. Last year, JetBlue revamped its website to better highlight the differences in onboard features like business class seats or free Wi-Fi.

Despite comedians’ digs, Spirit has improved its reliability in recent years — and is faring better than JetBlue by some measures.

JetBlue came in last among 10 airlines in on-time arrivals this year through May, while Spirit ranked seventh, according to the Transportation Department’s latest available data.

So far this year, a third of JetBlue’s flights were delayed and 4% have been canceled, according to flight tracker FlightAware. By comparison, slightly more than a quarter of Spirit’s flights have arrived late and 2.7% have been canceled.

JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes says improving reliability is a priority. The carrier has scaled back growth plans, saying it did not want to overextend its crews and other resources.

“A bigger JetBlue that is late is not a better JetBlue,” said Henry Harteveldt, a former airline executive and founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel-industry consulting firm.

Is this the end of cheap fares?

The Biden administration has vowed to take a tough stance on both consolidation and inflation, so the disappearance of an ultra low-cost airline could be a tough sell.


“Spirit might not be an elegant experience, but they are cheap,” said William Kovacic, a professor at the George Washington School of Law and a former chair of the Federal Trade Commission. “If they disappear as an independent enterprise … is that going to remove a source of downward pressure on price?”

But JetBlue’s Hayes says the airline needs to grow quickly and better compete with big airlines that control more than three-quarters of the U.S. market. Hayes argues a bigger JetBlue would mean more relatively lower fares to more destinations.

Like some of the airline giants, JetBlue has already added certain low fares that mimic carriers like Spirit. Those tickets also don’t come with seat assignments or other perks that were once standard with a coach fare.

But JetBlue’s business model of offering more comforts costs more than Spirit’s, meaning it likely won’t offer as many of the rock bottom fares that Spirit does.

Frontier Airlines, meanwhile, is already saying it’s happy to take on a bigger share of the ultra-low-cost market after its Spirit deal fell apart. Shortly after the airlines announced the end of their agreement, Frontier projected it would grow 30% next year and started a fare sale with 1 million seats going for $19 apiece.

The airline will become the largest discount carrier in the U.S. if Spirit is ultimately acquired. Others include Allegiant and Sun Country.

“That just gives us a huge amount of breathing room for growth,” said Frontier CEO Barry Biffle. “That’s why this is such a windfall for our employees and our shareholders.”

When is this happening?

Not immediately. JetBlue and Spirit expect the deal won’t get regulatory approval until late 2023 or early 2024, then close in the first half of 2024.

Integrating airlines is a lengthy and costly process. For example, United and Continental flight attendants didn’t even fly together until eight years after those airlines merged in 2010.

Retrofitting planes can take years too, and JetBlue wouldn’t be able to start that process with Spirit’s fleet until at least 2025. But the airline notes it recently outfitted more than 100 of its Airbus planes with new interiors.

“We’ve got a lot of recent experience in how to do it,” said Hayes.



Exclusive: Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth –




Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth

#Rezonate #raises #87M #launches #cloud #identity #protection #platform #stealth

Rezonate, a Boston- and Tel Aviv-based startup that offers an agent-less cloud identity protection platform that aims to help DevOps teams minimize attackers’ opportunities to breach cloud identity and access, is coming out of stealth today and announcing an $8.7 million seed funding round, led by State of Mind Ventures and Flybridge, with participation from toDay Ventures, Merlin Ventures and a number of angel investors.

Founded in January 2022, Rezonate is part of a group of modern identity and access management (IAM) startups that aim to modernize the current state of affairs in this space, which is struggling to meet the demands of modern cloud infrastructure systems. This shift is creating new attack surfaces, especially as enterprises move to the cloud — and more dynamic infrastructure systems — at an ever-increasing rate. The number of security breaches stemming from issues with identity and access management is already on the rise. Indeed, Gartner expects that by 2023, “75% of security failures will result from inadequate management of identities, access, and privileges.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Co-founder and CEO Roy Akerman was previously the head of the Israeli Cyberdefense Operations, while Rezonate co-founder and CTO Ori Amiga previously led R&D for this unit. Both received the Medal of Honor for their contributions to Israel’s National Security.

“The rapidly-changing cloudscape together with the proliferation of human and machine identities requires a different approach,” said Akerman. “Modern infrastructures require a precise and nimble way to outsmart attackers. One that prioritizes cloud identities and access at its core and is constantly adapting to current dynamics over yesterday’s snapshots and, for the first time, gives defenders and builders the means to act confidently.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Rezonate promises to discover all of a company’s cloud and identity providers and the corresponding access privileges of its employees. The platform automatically detects security gaps and abnormal access attempts in real time. Rezonate promises that within minutes of deploying its solution, its platform can identify cloud identity and access risks and provide guidance for remediating them, or even automatically remove access and terminate sessions.

At the core of all of this is what Rezonate calls its ‘Identity Storyline,’ which aims to provide DevOps and security teams with a context-rich dashboard that helps them understand the security risk across a company’s cloud estate. With this, users get an easy-to-read dashboard that clearly lays out what kind of access every user has — and where there are potential issues.


“The fact that in just ten months from our first line of code we already have active customers, solving key gaps daily, affirms the criticality of the cloud identity and access issue. In a cloud world where everything is changing all of the time, DevOps teams need a solution as dynamic and automated as the infrastructure they need to protect is,” said Amiga.

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Exclusive: Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro –




Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro

#Building #Prospecting #Motion #Outreach #Pro

The core responsibility of business development is to generate a pipeline of new business opportunities. For teams looking to close new customers, this work is indispensable.


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Exclusive: 5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday –




5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

#stock #market #opens #Tuesday

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), December 5, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Rough start

Stocks got off on the wrong foot this week with an ugly selloff Monday as investors weighed strong new economic data that stoked worries of sustained rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The Dow dropped more than 480 points, while the S&P 500 declined 1.79% and the Nasdaq fell 1.93%. When it meets next week, the Fed’s policy-setting committee is expected to raise its benchmark rate by half a percentage point, which is less than the three-quarter-point hikes of the past few months but still sizable. Smith & Wesson and Stitch Fix earnings are set to hit after the bell Tuesday. Read live market updates here.

2. Salesforce slumps

Bret Taylor, co-chief executive officer of Inc., right, and Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Inc., wear rabbit ears during a keynote at the 2022 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

3. Most Ford dealers sign up for EV plan

4. Biden touts Arizona chip investment

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks prior to signing railroad legislation into law, providing a resoluton to avert a nationwide rail shutdown, during a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2022. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

5. Russia ratchets up missile attacks

A building burns after shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on December 4, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yevhen Titov | Afp | Getty Images

And one more thing …

Actress Kirstie Alley

Noam Galai | Wireimage | Getty Images

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