May 26 WASHINGTON — The drop in air travel resulting from the coronavirus pandemic led before this season Viasat to lay off approximately 5% of its workforce, Viasat President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Baldridge said.
Baldridge said that in addition to the 300 layoffs, Viasat froze salaries for a number of workers furloughed some employees, and brought hiring to curtail costs.
“We do it in all collection of other overhead expenses we felt we could avoid or delay here in the near term,” Baldridge said during a business earnings call. The prices of Viasat must cut on by $100 million over a year’s period, but won’t fully offset the projected losses of the company he said.
In-flight connectivity accounts for about 10 percent of Viasat’s revenue. In a letter to shareholders, Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg said connectivity has been hit hard enough to threaten spending on the company satellite.
“[T]he downturn in commercial air travel meant we had to reduce prices to preserve the ViaSat-3 schedule with a prudent capital structure,” Dankberg wrote. The first of three broadband satellites under construction together with Boeing, viaSat-3 Americas, is projected to start at mid-2021, he composed. Viasat has signed SpaceX Arianespace and ULA on launching contracts to pay all 3 satellites, but hasn’t announced who will launch which spacecraft.
Viasat spokeswoman Chris Phillips told SpaceNews the firm numbered 5,500 employees.
Before the pandemic, Viasat was steadily gaining airline customers in North America, and recent conversations with airlines”suggest good opportunities to sustain, or improve, market share gains globally post crisis,” he wrote.
The amount of aircraft utilizing Viasat satellite services during the company’s fiscal year that ended March 31 totaled 1,390, up 78 aircraft from the previous calendar year. Dankberg said during a May 26 earnings call on its own results the coronavirus pandemic could place Viasat to put in more satellite terminals that this season because airlines won’t need to take idled aircraft to complete the upgrade.
Viasat reported 2.31 billion in yearly revenue, up 12%, with a net loss of $200,000, an improvement from last year’s $67.6 million loss.
Widespread stay-at-home orders increased need . Viasat additional 4,000 new readers from January to March, breaking up a nine-month streak of subscriber numbers and reaching 590,000 in complete.
Viasat told the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this month that it’s willing to build a customer broadband constellation of 288 satellites in low Earth orbit if it could obtain a share of a $20.4 billion worldwide broadband finance that the FCC is preparing to roll out later this season.