Billionaire Richard Branson's aerospace company Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday the third delay in its plans to begin offering commercial space flights, sending shares of the aerospace giant tumbling.
"While our short-term plans now call for commercial service to launch in the second quarter of 2023, progress on our future fleet continues and many of the key elements of our roadmap are now in place to scale the business in a meaningful way," Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement released alongside the company's second-quarter earnings results.
During Friday's trading session, Virgin Galactic shares fell more than 15% on the news.
|SPCE||VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC.||7.12||+0.12||+1.79%|
The company also posted a greater net loss of $110.7 million in the second quarter, after losing $94 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Virgin Galactic originally planned to begin commercial flights in the third quarter this year, but pushed that back to the fourth quarter last fall in order for the company to conduct a previously announced enhancement period for its VSS Unity spaceplane and VMS Eve mothership.
Then the company announced in May that the new target fly-window for space tourism would be the first quarter of 2023, citing "escalating supply chain and labor constraints."
The aerospace firm is currently selling tickets for forthcoming spaceflights for $450,000 apiece.
FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi and Reuters contributed to this report.