Virgin Galactic continues to sell tickets, although none of its devices will fly until the end of next year.
The days go by but are not the same for Virgin Galactic. After giving the starting signal of the new space race, then encountering great difficulties, the team of Richard Branson announced to have sold a hundred tickets since the reopening of the ticket office.
This is good news for the company, which has had a rather worrying desert crossing this summer. Indeed, testimonies had flourished shortly after the historic flight of Richard Branson, on July 11; some observers even spoke of “serious incidents”On that hastily planned flight ahead of Jeff Bezos’. In fact, the device has considerably deviated from its trajectory, to the point of exiting the airspace which was allocated to it and attracting the wrath of the FAA.
The American administration, worried about seeing its first space tour operator throw a cold spell on the whole industry, preferred suspend flight authorizations of Virgin Galactic during an investigation last September. It finally took a month for the firm to be authorized to reopen its ticket office. The exact nature of the dysfunction, on the other hand, remains unknown to this day. But fortunately for the company, this episode does not seem not having scared away customers. “We are selling tickets at a faster rate than we expected”, Explains Michael Colglazier, CEO of the company. “The business strategy we announced last quarter was well received”, He congratulates himself.
Reservations, but no flight before 2022
The strategy in question corresponds to an entry price of $ 450,000, including a down payment of $ 150,000 with $ 25,000 non-refundable. With this hundred tickets reserved, Virgin has therefore pocketed about fifteen million in installments alone. A figure that will further triple when customers go to checkout, provided no one cancels. And that’s good news for the group. Because according to The Verge, it would be today in the negative to the tune of 48 million dollars. With a little luck, these revenues could bring the firm closer to financial balance.
But accountants will have to take their troubles patiently before validating the first net profits. Indeed, even if Virgin Galactic is technically authorized to fly, the firm seems to have learned from its technical incidents and refuses to do so for the moment. Branson is well aware that he must give guarantees to the FAA and to the public; what’s more a new incident would be catastrophic in terms of image, and therefore bad for sales. It is partly for these reasons that Virgin Galactic has decided to embark on a vast program of global improvement of its vehicles. The firm expected this work to take many months, and now hopes resume its commercial activities towards the end of 2022. By then, she may have filled her order book even more.