Stobart Group has announced formal plans to begin scheduled passenger flights out of Carlisle Lake District Airport during summer 2018.

Kate Willard, the head of Corporate Projects at Stobart Group, told ITV in a statement that work was currently underway to ensure uptake was sufficient.

"We plan to commence the first new commercial flights from the airport in the summer of 2018 and look forward to working with partners in the visitor economy over these next months to help develop packages and promotions to make sure that our air services match the needs of our visitors, that we are able to attract new visitors and that ultimately, we are able to support the visitor economy through the development of a sustainable and really fantastic airport.”

Tentative destinations include London, Belfast and Dublin Int'l. The flights are likely to be operated by the Group's Stobart Air (RE, Dublin Int'l) production unit, which currently undertakes flights as a franchisee of Aer Lingus and flybe..

Stobart Group acquired Carlisle airport on a 150-year lease in May 2009 and plans to develop it into a key passenger and cargo handling facility.