Virgin Galactic has announced plans to pause spaceflight operations for next year in order to devote resources to developing its next-generation Delta-class spacecraft. The company’s ultimate goal is to focus on final assembly of the new Delta ships, significantly decreasing the rate at which its VSS Unity spacecraft currently flies to a quarter, before pausing operations in mid-2024. This strategic move is intended to streamline costs and realign resources, with the firm posting a net loss of $104.6 million in its third-quarter results.
In a related development, Virgin Galactic laid off about 185 employees, which equates to around 18% of its workforce, in line with efforts to decrease costs. This reduction in headcount is expected to yield annual cost savings of approximately $25 million. Despite the setbacks, the company generated $1.7 million in revenue during the quarter, signaling a step in the right direction. Plus, Virgin Galactic has its eyes set on long-term success, aiming to bring its first two Delta ships into service and achieve positive cash flow in 2026. The company also plans to open a new factory in Phoenix for Delta production, further solidifying its commitment to continued growth and innovation in the space tourism industry.