Virgin Galactic, the space tourism firm is almost cleared for take-off. But just not yet. According to the firm, 100 passengers purchased more premium tickets to ride on its suborbital space flight after it resumed ticket sales in August.
That takes the ticket count to 700 passengers, which is about 300 fewer than the 1,000 tickets it hopes to sell before its ships begin commercial flights. The revelation came during the company’s third-quarter results announcements.
Despite Virgin Atlantic’s plan to sell more tickets, the business claims that the extra sales this quarter exceeded the firm’s estimates.
“We’re booking seats faster than we expected,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said during the result release. “The pricing approach we unveiled last quarter garnered a lot of positive feedback.” Tickets were made available to those who had put down $1,000 in refundable deposit to express their enthusiasm in onboarding the space flight.
The airline plans to expand ticketing sales to anyone who enquired for travel information early next year.
Virgin Galactic resumed ticket sales barely a month after its creator, Richard Branson, safely flew to the edge of space and back in July aboard the company’s flagship spaceplane, the VSS Unity. Branson traveled alongside three passengers and two test pilots. The crew took off at Spaceport America in New Mexico to a height beyond 53 miles before traveling back to Earth.
The journey was a huge event, planned only nine days before Blue Origin’s creator, Jeff Bezos, flew to the edge of space.
Soon after, the journey appeared to be a resounding hit. However, a September article in the New Yorker claimed that when Branson’s airplane returned to Earth, it had diverted from its permitted flight route. The Federal Aviation Association briefly grounded Virgin Galactic while it probed the incident, but the problem was eventually fixed and the firm was cleared for take-off again in mid-September.
As space tourism becomes more of a reality than a far-fetched dream, companies are looking to attract and book more clients despite the few challenges troubling the industry.
Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and, for over a decade, has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest-rated merchant account provider in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.