No target date for Virgin Galactic debut passengers

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Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic space tourism business reported its Q1 numbers after the market closed on May 10th, and the news was not good.

The revenue position was but one problem; A larger problem was that the company announced that there was no news as to when it would start flying paying passengers. Virgin had previously said it would return to flight this month.

Financially, Virgin Galactic reported an EBITDA loss of $55.9 million ($59.5m in Q4) and that sent its stock price tumbling in after-hours trading. The stock had already fallen 24 percent in this year to date. There’s no prospect of the business failing just yet given that Virgin Galactic’s bank balance shows $617 million cash in hand.

Mike Moses, Virgin Galactic’s president of space missions/safety, told analysts that there was a potential “wear and tear” issue on the Jumbo jet that carries its spacecraft.

“We will report back to the market next week with an update on schedule implications to our next flight,” added Moses.

The business has its work cut out to get back on track. It had scheduled four test flights, but only one has taken place (back in December 2020).

The company reported that it had “approximately” 600 reservations for flights as at March 31st.


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