Loganair thas announced a significant partnership with Stobart Group which will see the airline operating from the newly-renamed Carlisle Lake District Airport (CLDA) to London Southend.
Loganair will operate eight flights per-day across the working week and a total of 12 at weekends, connecting Cumbria and the Lake District, which receives 45 million visitors per year, to the three destinations.
Dublin will also have a daily service each day of the week and Belfast City will be served daily, excluding Saturday.
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has committed £4.95m to the development of CLDA, and the services will be the first commercial and business flights from Carlisle since 1993.
Services to and from CLDA will be flown by 34-seater Saab 340s, the mainstay of Loganair’s fleet.
Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “We’re both delighted and honoured to become the first operator at the new Carlisle Lake District Airport, and this partnership with Stobart will open up Loganair’s services to a whole new range of customers.
“With frequent services on each of the three routes, we have every confidence that these new flights will transform access to and from the Lake District for many thousands of customers each year, as well as serving areas like the South West of Scotland.”
“This move highlights Loganair’s growing reputation as an airline that consistently looks for ways to develop into new markets and we are confident that its brand will travel well south of the border.”
Stobart Group’s head of corporate projects Kate Willard said: “Stobart Group is committed to delivering a brilliant air travel experience across the UK and Ireland. We are therefore delighted to be announcing flights with Loganair connecting London, Belfast and Dublin with Carlisle and the Lake District.
“There is huge demand from London, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to visit Carlisle, which is home to major businesses and serves as a gateway to the Lake District, two UNSCO World Heritage Sites and South Scotland.”
The route to Dublin also offers additional connectivity ease to travellers as they will be able to clear US immigration checks in the comfort of Dublin Airport at Terminal 2 – meaning they will land in the US as a hassle-free domestic passenger.
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership director Graham Haywood said: "Carlisle Lake District Airport will have a huge impact on Cumbria’s visitor economy and is also a key strategic business asset for the county.
“Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is investing £4.95m to help make improvements to the airport's runway and the terminal.
"Increasing the numbers of high-spending international visitors is a key target within Cumbria LEP’s Rural and Visitor Economy Growth Plan and will help widen the county's international connectivity. Developing the airport’s passenger offer will provide smoother, quicker access to local tourism attractions and help to increase international tourism visits.”