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Virgin and KLM's Race to Space

altKLM has announced plans to start its own space shuttle by 2014, rivalling Virgin Atlantic the only other player in the sub-orbital flight market.

The Dutch flag-carrier said November 17 that it will support Space Experience Curacao by allowing members of its frequent flyer program Flying Blue to redeem points for space flights, as well as including it in future KLM vacation packages.

KLM also intends to market and sell flights operated by Space Experience Curacao, which uses a Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

The flights are scheduled to start in January 2014 and are still pending government approval. They will be operated from the island of Curacao, an overseas territory of the Netherlands in the Caribbean.

Virgin will charge US $ 200,000 per flight and KLM is expected to undercut this rate at only US $ 51,500.

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