Richard Branson is space traveling and his businesses are making a COVID comeback

Across airlines, hotels, and cruises, Virgin companies are getting back to work.


July 9, 2021

Source: Virgin Galactic

If the weather holds, Richard Branson will head to the edge of space Sunday aboard his Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

If all goes well, Branson will win a space race with Jeff Bezos, who’s going 9 days later aboard his New Shepard spaceship (which some say looks like… well, see for yourself).

The launch follows a rough year for Branson’s businesses

Branson’s companies didn’t exactly mesh well with COVID. For instance:

  • Virgin Atlantic Airways raised $1.5B to avoid bankruptcy
  • Virgin Australia Holdings, another airline group, was taken under the wing of Bain Capital
  • Virgin Voyages, a cruise line that got its 1st ship delivered right before the pandemic, said, “sorry, bad timing?”
  • Virgin Active, which operates gyms, lost 25%+ of its members

But they’re on track to make a comeback

Virgin Atlantic is going full throttle in London, Virgin Voyages is setting sail in August, and Virgin Hotels is welcoming back guests.

Some fun facts about Branson: He survived a hot air balloon crash, his boat capsized while trying to cross the Atlantic in record speed, and he’s driven a tank into Times Square.

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