Virgin Galactic announced August 5 that it will be resuming ticket sales with prices ballooning to $450,000 per seat.
During its quarterly financial results presentation, Virgin Galactic announced that it would restart ticket sales which had been suspended in 2014 following a crash that killed a test pilot.
According to chief executive Michael Colglazier, the starting price for a seat aboard a Virgin Galactic flight will be $450,000. This is close to double the $250,000 the company had been charging prior to suspending ticket sales in 2014.
When purchasing a ticket, customers will be able to buy a single ticket, multiple tickets, or an entire flight.
“If someone wants to purchase a full flight and buy out all the seats on the flight, there will be a modest premium that goes against that,” said Colglazier.
In addition to announcing that it would resume ticket sales, Colglazier also revealed that the commencement of commercial flights would be pushed by at least six months.
Earlier this year. the space tourism company had target early 2022 for the commencement of its commercial service. However, Virgin Galactic has selected to first perform upgrades on its SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes and WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft.
Currently, the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft is only capable of performing 10 flights between major inspections. Virgin Galactic expect to increase that to approximately 100 flights.
“The opportunity to have Eve fly on a much more frequent basis is very powerful and it is clearly the right thing to do for the business. The question is now versus later,” said Colglazier. “We don’t want to take Eve down later once we’ve really started to ramp up our private astronaut business.”
Testing of the upgraded vehicles is expected to begin in the second half of 2022. Virgin Galactic will then aim to perform a full-crew test flight in the third quarter of that year followed by the first commercial flight towards the end of 2022.