The Virgin brand cracks into new markets with the arrival of Virgin Holidays in 1985 and Virgin Balloon Flights two years later. Virgin Atlantic also adds a second route to its manifest, connecting Gatwick, UK to Miami, FL.
A 17-year-old Richard Branson starts his first two ventures: Student, a youth-culture magazine, and the helpline Student Advisory Centre, which in many ways is a precursor to the non-profit foundation Virgin Unite.
Virgin Active launches its first health clubs in South Africa as Virgin Trains unveils its 140 mph tilting Pendolino train. Richard Branson also officially steps into the world of space travel with the introduction of Virgin Galactic, the first commercial space tourism company.
Virgin hits the airwaves with its first national radio station, Virgin Radio, in 1993. Personal finance company Virgin Direct (which would later become Virgin Money) and Virgin Mobile also make their inaugural debut. Meanwhile, Richard is knighted by the Prince of Wales for his contributions to entrepreneurship.
In 2017, Virgin Orbit makes its split from Virgin Galactic to focus on developing its own launch system, LauncherOne. With Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit and The Spaceship Company all neck-deep in their developmental cycles, the Virgin Group is ready to turn yet another industry on its head.
Richard Branson's entrepreneurial career takes off in 1971, after he opens a quaint Virgin Records shop on Oxford Street in London. Richard would eventually sell the massively successful label for more than $1 billion in 1992.
Since opening the doors of his first Virgin business 50 years ago, Sir Richard Branson has built a career around bold innovations. He’s become a disruptive force in nearly every industry that exists — from cruises and hotels to rail lines and banking — and has even invented some new ones along the way. More importantly, though, he has used his privilege to improve the lives of everyone who comes in contact with the Virgin brand. In founding Virgin Orbit and our sister companies Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, Richard is extending that vision of tireless do-goodery to space.
The Virgin Family
We’re connected to a global network of Virgin companies that can teach us better ways to serve our customers and grow as a successful business. Purchasing Cosmic Girl from Virgin Atlantic is just one example of how the distinct Virgin entities support and lean on each other as we push to disrupt our respective industries.
The Virgin Experience
An elevated customer experience is inherent to all of Richard’s various businesses. Virgin Orbit is no different. We’re bringing a degree of ease and luxury to satellite makers, owners and operators that simply has never existed in the launch industry until now.