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

Consumer rights: How can an air fare jump £300 in just a few minutes?

It pays to check online prices for air travel before you click the 'confirm' button...What happens when a builder demands money up front

The business on... Steve Ridgway, Chief executive, Virgin Atlantic

Branson's head pilot?

Travel 2011: The year of travelling differently

It's surely the stuff of dreams. The ultimate, fantastical, globe-spanning holiday, lasting 365 days and starting ... now. You put aside the mundane demands of the office, unburden yourself of family responsibility and sample the freshest experiences that the planet can throw you. Wherever you have been and whatever you have done, everything in this ultimate itinerary will be novel: taking advantage of new flights, you'll stay in brand-new hotels and sample brand-new holiday itineraries. Money is no object as you contemplate a year of living from a suitcase (incidentally, prices here are per person and, for packages, normally based on two sharing). Crucially your new 2011 desk diary is suddenly clear of previous engagements, and instead will read like this...

Branson set to relinquish control of Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic yesterday revealed it had been approached by a series of rivals over potential tie-ups, increasing speculation that Sir Richard Branson is preparing to relinquish control of the carrier he founded in 1984.

Rivals spark Virgin Atlantic deal talk

Virgin Atlantic today fuelled speculation it could pursue a merger or tie-up after it said it had received "a number of lines of enquiry".

Good to go: 24/11/2010

Air tax rise will make family holidays 'unaffordable'

Next week's rise in the Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax will make family holidays "unaffordable for many", Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic warned today.

Tax rise adds £450m to 2011 holiday bill

Next month's increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) will add £450m to the cost of holidays in 2011, according to Virgin Atlantic. The third increase in as many years will add £240 to the cost of a four-person holiday to the US, a 33 per cent rise from 2009.

Briton arrested after fight on flight

A UK-bound jumbo jet with 451 passengers aboard had to divert due to a disruptive passenger, it was revealed today.

Trevor Beattie: This is not a power trip.It's my life's ambition

As a kid I wasn't in to sci-fi, I was in to sci-fact. The Apollo programme fascinated me, and one of my earliest memories was of the notion that man could go to the Moon. Then David Bowie came along with "Starman" and that really touched me musically. It's amazing how much the timescales have changed; we used to believe that by the 1980s we'd all be living on Mars. It seems that recently scientists have been more interested in exploring cyberspace, turning progress inwards rather than outwards.

Branson dedicates spaceport runway in US desert

The dream of rocketing tourists into space edged closer to reality yesterday, as the world's first commercial spaceport opened a runway in the New Mexico desert.

Virgin Galactic achieve first solo glide flight

Virgin Galactic's space tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo achieved its first solo glide flight, marking another step in the company's eventual plans to fly paying passengers.

Celtic Manor Diary: Bring on the boos... Mahan has a plan to provoke the crowds

With 50,000 spectators filing through the gates of Celtic Manor each day, US captain Corey Pavin's dream is not to hear a single cheer. "Quiet would be good," he said. That would mean his team is winning. Perhaps he should have a word with Hunter Mahan. The 28-year-old from Orange, California has his own plan. He likes noise. Lots of it. "I love that edgy atmosphere with the spectators almost being like a football crowd," Mahan said. "You know, you almost want the crowd to boo us."

South Africa: Eight days, four stops, one incredible journey

A new tour of the Eastern Cape mixes safari with activities such as cooking and canoeing. Olivia Greenway tried it out
News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all