Virgin Galactic stock erases 2021 gains after Branson's stake sale

SpaceShipTwo “Unity” on the runway after an aborted spaceflight take a look at on Dec. 12, 2020.

Virgin Galactic

A Virgin Group spokesperson informed CNBC that the agency “intends to use the net proceeds from this sale to support its portfolio of global leisure, holiday and travel businesses that continue to be affected by the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.” It’s the second time Branson has bought Virgin Galactic stock to assist Virgin Group, as he sold about $500 million of his stake last May.

Virgin Galactic continues to work to complete development of the spacecraft that it plans to make use of to fly individuals to the sting of area and again. The firm suffered a setback in December, when electromagnetic interference induced an early abort of its most up-to-date spaceflight try. The subsequent try is anticipated in May.

The growth delays have pushed again Virgin Galactic’s deliberate debut of its area tourism service, with CEO Michael Colglazier saying the company does not expect to begin flying commercial flights until early 2022.

Virgin Galactic expects to fly 4 extra spaceflight checks with its “VSS Unity” spacecraft, together with flying Branson this summer season.