Carlisle Lake District airport has officially launched commercial flights for the first time since 1993, with services offered by Loganair.
The inaugural flight to Dublin took off following a blessing from the Archdeacon of Carlisle, the Venerable Lee Townend.
The opening follows a series of setbacks experienced by the airport, which was originally due to open in June 2018. The launch of flights was delayed twice due to a shortage of air traffic control staff.
The Stobart Group-owned and operated airport is working with Loganair to offer flights to and from Dublin, Southend and Belfast City airports. It once served as an RAF airfield but has been transformed with a new terminal, runways and taxiways.
Kate Willard, director of partnership development for Stobart Group, said: “We are made up to see this amazing project launch today. Not only is this airport a significant new part of the Northern Powerhouse’s transport infrastructure – it is also a shining beacon of confidence and pride for Cumbria, Carlisle, the wider Lake District region and the Borderlands.
“I would also like to pay tribute to our passionate and amazing workers and thank all of those many individuals, organisations and businesses – including our partner Local Authorities and the Cumbria LEP – who have held our hands through this long journey. Thank you.”
Loganair MD Jonathan Hinkles commented: “This is an historic day for both Loganair and Carlisle Lake District airport as the first commercial air services for 26 years take to the skies. These three routes will be a complete game-changer for the region’s connectivity with London and Ireland – extremely beneficial for the business community and highly convenient for tourists booking breaks to the Lake District. Congratulations to everyone for working so hard to make this possible. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the first customers onboard.”