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

Virgin pilots vote for strike



Virgin Atlantic pilots have voted by a massive 97% to go on strike in a row over pay, raising the threat of summer walkouts which would cause travel chaos.

Immigrant slashes throat to avoid being deported

An illegal immigrant slashed his own throat aboard a plane yesterday in an 11th-hour bid to avoid being sent home.

Deportation immigrant cuts throat

An illegal immigrant slashed his throat today as he was being deported on a plane.

Air passenger duty rise warning

Passengers could be paying an extra £1 billion a year in increased Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax, Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic warned today.

Singapore ready to sell Virgin stake

Singapore Airline declared itself open to offers for its 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic yesterday, but would not make any comment on whether any bidders have approached the airline. Singapore Airlines bought 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic for £600m in 1999.

Simon Calder: Why both sides profit from overbooking

The man who pays his way

Travel Agenda: North West Great Outdoors Show; Virgin Atlantic; Palermo Place; Opening Day on the Bay; Airparks

Today: The North West Great Outdoors Show gets underway in St Helens, Lancashire. Running until Bank Holiday Monday, it showcases ways to enjoy holidays outdoors, from camping and caravanning to cycling and kayaking (greatoutdoorsshow.co.uk). Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic's recently launched partnership with the US budget carrier, JetBlue, now allows connecting flights to destinations across the US with a single booking from the airline's existing bases (0844 874 7747; virgin-atlantic.com).

Virgin Atlantic on brink of alliance, says Branson

Virgin Atlantic is set to agree an alliance within the next few months, Sir Richard Branson, the airline's owner, confirmed yesterday.

Traveller's Guide: Premium economy

Fed up with the squeeze at the back of the plane? Prepared to pay for extra legroom? Simon Calder and Debbie Kaplan assess the upgrade options

Video: Space tourism in Scotland?

Science Minister David Willetts: ''It would be nice to see Virgin Galactic launch from Lossiemouth.''

Travel Agenda: TNT Travel Show; Westfield Mall; Virgin Atlantic; Mr C in Los Angeles; Air Europa

Today: Visit the TNT Travel Show at Earls Court 2 in London, which has all manner of backpacker ideas – and costs only £1 admission, which you can avoid completely by booking online (tnttravelshow.com). Close by, the giant Westfield Mall hosts Greece – part of the premises is being turned into a "Greek theme park" for a week, with food, a spa and "archaeological dig" (uk.westfield.com/London).

Therapists win injury payout

Two former beauty therapists who developed repetitive strain injuries through giving massages to air travellers have won a total of £300,430 damages from Virgin Atlantic in the High Court.

Virgin Atlantic pays damages to massage therapists

Two former beauty therapists who developed repetitive strain injuries through giving massages to air travellers have won a total of £300,430 damages from Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin finds a suitor

Virgin Atlantic is being circled by a number of airlines as consolidation in the beleaguered sector looks set to continue, it was reported yesterday.

Crawley, the town that's so easy to leave

Ahead of his home town's historic clash with Man Utd, Simon Calder offers a guided tour
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie