News The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

Spend Christmas Day at 37,000 feet – and save a fortune

Surge in number of travellers taking advantage of cheap fares if you fly on the 25th

Business Diary: French take on old enemy

Nicolas Sarkozy doesn't want for support at home after his falling-out with the rosbifs. The radio pundits are lining up behind him. One report at the weekend on Man United's shock Champion's League exit was prefaced by "and David Cameron isn't the only English Euro exit this week". Then an item on Paul McCartney, who had been rude at a concert about the French Government's insistence that meat must stay on school menus, ended with the presenter moaning about "another Brit trying to tell us what to do".

Britons stuck in the US face a long wait to come home

Thousands of British holidaymakers stranded in New York and other US cities could face a long wait to get home. Although Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat of severe flooding means that delays may continue after it has passed. Meanwhile, the lack of spare seats on flights in the peak holiday season means the backlog of stranded passengers could take many days to clear.

Virgin Atlantic to launch 'weep warning' gimmick on films

Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic is to put "weep warnings" on tearjerker film shown on flights.

Business Diary: Proof that some still dress properly

Charles Tyrwhitt, the menswear retailer that specialises in City boys, has a bit of news to restore one's faith in tradition and standards during these troubled times. Sales of pocket squares are up 48 per cent at its shops and it reckons the trend will continue, with the actor Daniel Craig having modelled the look at a recent premiere. "Although we have witnessed a huge rise in the number of open-neck shirts in the workplace, it seems that a touch of formality is creeping back," the shop says. Thank heavens for that.

Virgin back in profit despite stiff headwinds

Virgin Atlantic returned to cruising speed yesterday as the airline's finances soared back into the black despite taking a £40m hit from the ash cloud and winter cold snap.

David Prosser: Virgin still looks lonely but there is no sign of a partner

Outlook It has not been a bad few days for Virgin Atlantic. On Tuesday, Sir Richard Branson's airline announced it had been successful in heading off a potentially humiliating strike by its pilots. Yesterday, Virgin was able to reveal it has returned to the black over the year just gone. All very satisfactory, one might think.

Virgin pilots accept new pay offer

Pilots with Sir Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, have voted to accept a pay offer - finally ending the prospect of strike action.

Virgin seeks 'fairer' departure tax arrangements

The Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax is resulting in long-haul flight passengers subsidising short-haul travel by £222 million a year, Virgin Atlantic Airways said today.

Union lifts strike threat at Virgin Atlantic

The threat of a damaging pilots' strike at Virgin Atlantic was lifted last night. The pilots union, Balpa, said it had "secured an offer" from the airline which would be put to a ballot.

Turbulent times for Branson's racing mate

Never one to duck a challenge, the man at the throttle tells Sarah Arnott how he plans to keep Virgin Atlantic above the clouds

Virgin boss Branson warns pilots over strikes

A pilots' strike on Virgin Atlantic would leave "an indelible scar on the company", the airline's boss Sir Richard Branson said today.

After decades flying high, Branson hits turbulence

As crew plan first ever walk-out, Simon Calder on what the dispute means for the airline

Virgin pilots vote for action

Virgin Atlantic pilots have voted to go on strike in a row over pay for the first time in the company's history, raising the threat of summer walkouts which would cause travel chaos.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview