Categories: Tech News

Virgin Galactic says commercial space flights are on track for the second quarter

Virgin Galactic maintained its plans to begin commercial space flights in the middle of next year, strengthening the company.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. maintained its plans to begin commercial space flights by the middle of next year, bolstering the company even as preparations remain a strain on its workforce.

The space tourism firm has multiple test flights scheduled over the next few months ahead of a launch planned for the second quarter, according to a statement Thursday. The disclosure came as Virgin Galactic reported third-quarter sales that beat estimates.

The company, founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson, has faced supply chain disruptions and labor constraints as it nears the debut of commercial service. It had planned to begin passenger flights into space this year, but has scaled back launch plans several times, most recently to the second quarter of 2023.

Virgin Galactic also said Thursday it expected free cash flow of negative $120 million to negative $130 million in the fourth quarter, worse than analysts’ average estimate of a $114 million burn.

Shares bounced between gains and losses in late trading in New York, rising 1.5% as of 4:34 p.m. The stock, which has been trading since going public in a blank check merger in 2019, had fallen 66% this year through Thursday. Close.

It’s been more than a year since Virgin Galactic flew Branson to the edge of space and back aboard the company’s space plane, VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic has not flown into space since that trip.


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