In-flight entertainment wins stand out in Viasat Q3 | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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As with other operators of its kind, US satellite operator Viasat is facing financial headwinds as shown in mixed third quarter results but the outlook looks brighter when it comes to the delivery of in-flight entertainment.

viasat united 9Feb2018For the three-month period ended 31 December 2017, Viasat recorded revenues of $ 381.8 million inching up on the same period a year ago by 0.3%. For the nine months of the current financial year, it has now generated $1.155 billion in sales, said to be a third quarter record, up 1.1% compared with the same time in fiscal 2017. Yet on a net income front, the company has seen a Q3 2017 profit of $4.2 million turn into a loss of $24.6 million a year later. For the three-quarter year, the loss was $47.4 million, compared with a profit of $17.1 million a year previously.

"Fiscal 2018 is a year of investment and positioning Viasat for growth on multiple fronts. We executed well on our primary objectives in the third quarter, including building on the momentum in the Government Systems segment; preparing for the launch of new residential service plans enabled by ViaSat-2; continuing to deploy and scale our next-generation IFC platform; and hitting important research and development (R&D) milestones associated with ViaSat-3," said Mark Dankberg, Viasat chairman and CEO commenting on the results. "In our IFC business, we made important strides with Qantas entering production service, we began initial installations for both line-fit and retro-fit on American Airlines and we made progress in Europe...I'm really pleased with the execution and our team's ability to achieve the milestones that position us for exciting growth in fiscal year 2019 and beyond."

As it looked to solidify the positioning plans, Viasat announced a direct in-flight internet service provider contract with United Airlines to bring Viasat's latest generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity system to more than 70 aircraft including at least 58 of United's new Boeing 737MAX aircraft.

In-flight offers huge potential for satellite operators and at the end of the third quarter, there were 589 commercial aircraft in service equipped with Viasat's IFC system and Viasat expects to install its system on 912 additional aircraft under existing contracts, a sequential increase of 92 planes to a total of 1,501 aircraft either in service or under contract. The company anticipates a significant increase in new installations of its IFC system to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018. In the new deployment, Viasat will serve as the direct in-flight internet service provider to United, deploying its most advanced IFEC system which will power United's Personal Device Entertainment service, offering passengers access to hundreds of entertainment titles from its on-board library.