Virgin confirms plans to raise ticket prices

It took a couple of days, but Virgin Galactic officials confirmed late Thursday that the company will “likely” raise ticket prices by as much as $50,000 to adjust for inflation since ticket sales started. In a statement provided by a Virgin Galactic spokesman late Thursday (after initially contacting them midday Tuesday), the company said prices would soon increase.

“Following the start of powered flight, it’s likely that we will soon see a rise in the price of Virgin Galactic space tickets, purely to adjust for inflation over the eight years or so that we have been making reservations available,” the statement read. “Longer term, our priority is still to reduce the price, and we do not anticipate going over $200k roughly per ticket in real terms.”

Reports earlier this week, including comments by Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson, indicated ticket prices would be going up to $250,000 each. The company, through its spokesperson, didn’t confirm that number but said “that’s the order of magnitude.” Using the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), $200,000 in 2004 dollars works out to $246,000 in 2013 dollars, supporting that $250,000 figure. That price increase, the company said, would apply only to new customers: those who have already paid, or at least put down a deposit, would keep the current $200,000 price.

As for when the longer-term decrease in price might take place, the company said it was too early to determine when that could happen (although some reports indicated that the price cuts would start after the company flew about 1,000 people.) The decrease “will depend on the performance of a number of variables which will only really become evident as Virgin Galactic gets into commercial service and the industry emerges,” the company said in a response early Friday to a follow-up question.

2 comments to Virgin confirms plans to raise ticket prices

  • D. Messier

    To really bring the costs down, they need to go toward airline type operations on both the WK2 and SS2. That’s not possible with the current design of SS2 because they have to replace the engine after every flight.

    The real solution is to go with the liquid engine they’ve been developing in Mojave for quite some time. The engine will power SS2 and LauncherOne. What such an engine does to the design of SS2 is an interesting question that can’t be answered at this time.

    The engine work hasn’t progressed all that far. The engine they’re testing now is low thrust and fires for very brief periods. Reports indicate they’re going through a pretty steep learning curve that is typical for a company that has gotten into a field it has no previous expertise in. Virgin has run airlines; it’s never built engines, let alone anything for rockets.

  • […] customer, but Whitesides did note that Virgin Galactic had raised its ticket price to $250,000, as the company confirmed back in May. Those customers come from 54 countries, and range from “teenagers to 88 years old,” he […]

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