Virgin Galactic Sells First Charter Flight, Plans to Roll Out White Knight 2 in May

Rob Coppinger has posted detailed notes of his January 24 conversation with Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough over at his Hyperbola blog on Flight Global. These notes are in addition to an article that Coppinger wrote examining the company’s business plan and SpaceShipTwo’s rising costs (now estimated at nearly $250 million).

Attenborough had some interesting things to say:

  • The company plans to roll the White Knight 2 carrier aircraft out of the factory in May;
  • Virgin gained 25 new customers in a one-month period from December to January;
  • An American has booked an entire flight as a charter (6 passengers);
  • Many of the space tourists are in their 40’s and 50’s and were inspired by the Apollo program;
  • Six customers have asked for refunds, two for health reasons and the rest due to “changing circumstances.”