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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment