Virgin Galactic delays launch of commercial space flight service

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
Virgin Galactic (SPCE) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the company begins public trading in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 5 (Reuters) - Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) will delay the launch of its commercial space flight service to the first quarter of 2023, the space tourism company said on Thursday, citing supply chain crisis and labor constraints.

Shares of the company fell nearly 2% in extended trading.

"We look forward to returning to space in the fourth quarter and launching commercial service in the first quarter of next year," Chief Executive Officer Michael Colglazier said.

The Richard Branson-founded company had earlier planned to launch the commercial space flight service in the fourth quarter of 2022.

A handful of companies including Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are striving to make space tourism a reality, and some have already launched civilian missions.

Virgin Galactic's net loss stood at $93.1 million during the first quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of $129.7 million, a year ago.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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