With CEO Michael Colglazier outlining the remaining stages until the space tourism business hopes to debut its long-delayed service next year, Virgin Galactic on Thursday announced a bigger third-quarter loss than a year earlier.
Colglazier stated in a conference call that “as we approach commercial service, we appreciate the significance of getting back to the business of spaceflight.”
The corporation announced that a protracted period of downtime to restore and improve its vehicles is almost over. Colglazier claimed that while construction on the carrier aircraft VMS Eve is expected to be concluded by the end of December, work on the spacecraft VSS Unity has already been completed.
After that, Virgin Galactic will conduct several test flights in the first quarter, the first of which, according to Colglazier, will be a VMS Eve test trip in early January. A test spaceflight with a Virgin Galactic mission specialist will follow, followed by a “glide flight” test with both VMS Eve and VSS Unity.
Prior to beginning additional flights for private clients, a previously announced flight transporting Italian Air Force personnel is scheduled to debut the commercial service in the second quarter. The business has around 800 consumers on hold.
As of Thursday’s price of $4.58, shares of Virgin Galactic had lost 66% of their value this year.
With very little sales, the company recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss of $129 million for the quarter, up from a loss of $68 million a year earlier. A $100 million “at the market” common stock offering was successfully completed by the business, which currently has around $1.1 billion in cash on hand.
With work slated to start early next year, Virgin Galactic is highlighting the possibilities of its “Delta-class” series of spacecraft. Colglazier warned that the company’s decision to focus its resources on the launch of commercial services and the construction of Delta-class spacecraft “would undoubtedly impair the pace of development on our second spaceship VSS Imagine,” which was intended to increase Virgin Galactic’s near-term capabilities.
Colglazier stated, “We are reevaluating its timeline for entering commercial service.”