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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot