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
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
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen