Rome, 14 September 2020. – The Italian aerospace company Avio resisted the COVID-19 lockdown and crisis by maintaining its operational continuity and with the successful return to flight of the Vega VV16 small satellite mission in early September, the company said in its half year results announcement on 14 September.
“Avio has managed to keep continuity of operations during the lockdown through a specific Government authorization related to the strategic relevance of Avio business activities,” the company said. “The closure of the Kourou launch base in French Guiana from March to May 2020 caused the delay of the Vega return to flight from March to June, when it was further postponed again due to exceptionally negative weather conditions. In the middle of August the third launch of Ariane 5 took place (with the first two successfully launched in January and February respectively). The VV16 Vega flight successfully took place on the 3rd of September, lifting to orbit 53 satellites of different sizes by 21 customers from 13 countries thanks to SSMS, Avio’s innovative dispenser.”
Avio developed and delivered the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser adaptor for the release of multiple satellites on the VV16 Vega mission.
“For the remaining part of the year another Vega and another Ariane 5 are being readied for launch and preparation of an additional Vega flight is also envisioned with a view to launch in early 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the development activities of Vega C and Ariane 6, whose maiden flights were originally expected by 2020, and now expected in the first and second 2021 semester respectively,” Avio said.
The company posted an increase in earnings (reported EBITDA plus 5 percent, adjusted EBITDA plus 18 percent) despite a year-on-year decline in revenues by 11 percent.