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
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game