Virgin Galactic restarts space-trip sales at $450,000 and up

Business

FILE – In this Sunday, July 11, 2021 file photo, Richard Branson answers students’ questions during a news conference at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M. Virgin Galactic is selling tickets for space flights again, just weeks after founder Richard Branson rode a rocket-powered plane to more than 50 miles above the Earth. Tickets aren’t cheap. Virgin Galactic is setting prices to start at $450,000 a seat. The company announced the sales as it reported Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 that it lost $94 million in the second quarter. Costs for overhead and sales jumped from a year earlier. Revenue was just $571,000, barely enough to cover one seat on a future flight. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

The ticket window is open again for space flights at Virgin Galactic, with prices starting at $450,000 a seat.

The space-tourism company said Thursday it is making progress toward beginning revenue flights next year. It will sell single seats, package deals and entire flights.

Virgin Galactic announced the offerings as it reported Thursday that it lost $94 million in the second quarter on soaring costs for overhead and sales. The company posted revenue of $571,000, barely enough to cover one seat on a future flight.

The company’s most noteworthy recent achievement came last month, after the quarter ended, when founder Richard Branson and five crewmates soaredto 53.5 miles (86 kilometers) above the New Mexico desert.

CEO Michael Colglazier said the company resumed sales on Thursday to take advantage of a surge in consumer interest after the flight by Branson, who beat rival billionaire Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin shipinto space by nine days.

The company based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, won regulatory approval in June to fly people into space.

Virgin Galactic said “early hand-raisers” will get first priority to book seats, and another list will be created for new customers.

The company’s next spaceflight is scheduled for late September in New Mexico with the Italian air force.

Virgin Galactic said it ended the quarter with cash and equivalents totaling $552 million.

The results were released after the stock market closed. The company’s shares were up nearly 5% in after-hours trading.

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