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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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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