ViaSat-2 satellite orbit raising phase almost complete

ViaSat-2 launches from Kourou. Image: Arianespace.
ViaSat-2 launches from Kourou. Image: Arianespace.

ViaSat says that the orbit raising activity for its new ViaSat-2 satellite is almost complete and it is positioning its services portfolio to reflect its capabilities.

The subsequent on-orbit handover of ViaSat-2 from Boeing is expected to be completed before the end of calendar year 2017.

Reporting its second quarter of fiscal year 2018 results, ViaSat said it now had 576 commercial aircraft in service equipped with its in-flight internet system, and expects to install the system on approximately 830 additional aircraft under existing contracts.

It said key airline customer highlights included:

  • EL AL Israel Airlines selected ViaSat as its in-flight internet partner of choice for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
  • ViaSat and JetBlue have expanded their relationship. In the new agreement, ViaSat will serve as the direct in-flight internet service provider to the airline, upgrading JetBlue aircraft to the latest ViaSat hardware, which will provide access to the expanded coverage and capacity of ViaSat’s next-generation ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms.

ViaSat says it has also completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) milestones for the ViaSat-3 class spacecraft.

ViaSat and Boeing are now proceeding with full construction, integration and testing of the first two ViaSat-3 class satellites.

In the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, ViaSat also says its Commercial Networks segment activities continued to be heavily focused on R&D investment in the company’s ultra-high capacity ViaSat-3 class satellite constellation and is ramping up its commercial airline programmes, which included new spend for Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) and line-fit programmes.

ViaSat also says its initial next-generation mobile terminals have shipped and have been installed on customer aircraft.

The results shows the ViaSat had revenues of $393.1m in Q2 FY18 and a net income loss of $13.7m.

It attributed the loss to the “year-over-year impact to revenues and operating profit due to the completion of payments under the SS/L settlement agreement in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, plus costs associated with the preparation for the ViaSat-2 service launch and strong commercial in-flight connectivity service ramp, both of which are expected to occur in the second half of fiscal year 2018”.


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