Carlisle airport’s owners have vowed that scheduled flights will finally restart 13 months to the day after the intended date.
The Cumbrian gateway, officially known as Carlisle Lake District Airport, is expected to launch links to Southend, Belfast and Dublin on 4 July. The airport’s last scheduled flight departed in 1993.
The facility is now owned by Stobart Group, which had originally planned services to the three destinations from 4 June 2018.
That was deferred to September 2018, but postponed again because of problems recruiting qualified air-traffic controllers.
Scheduled services will provided by the Scottish airline, Loganair, which last week announced new links from Southend to Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stornoway.
Southend airport is also owned by Stobart Group.
Kate Willard, director of partnership development for Stobart Group, said: “The team have been working around the clock and have been amazing since the very start of the project.
“I would also like to thank the people of Carlisle, Cumbria and the Lake District and our partners for their patience.
“Despite the delays, the last commercial flights at Carlisle Lake District Airport were in 1993 and we are chuffed that we are bringing them back to the region for the first time in more than 25 years.”
Jonathan Hinkles, managing director of Loganair, said: “These air services will significantly benefit the overall Carlisle and Borderlands region, attracting thousands of tourists and enhancing connectivity for those wishing to do business at both ends of the routes.” Services will be operated by 33-seat Saab 340B aircraft.
The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has paid almost £5m for improvements to the runway and terminal.
Carlisle airport faces strong competition in an area with a sparse population. The distance to Newcastle airport is 46 miles away, and to Prestwick 81 miles. For access to the Lake District, Manchester has direct rail connections.
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