Carlisle airport in northern English Lake District has announced it will receive commercial traffic from June 4, 2018, with routes to London Southend, Belfast City and Dublin Int'l.

The airport operator Stobart Group intends to announce the name of the carrier which will operate the services by the end of January 2018, News & Star has reported. While the company is talking to its own subsidiary Stobart Air (RE, Dublin Int'l) about the flights, it is also conducting negotiations with other airlines.

"We are talking to a couple of airlines. We have Stobart Air in our back pocket but it may be that another airline or aircraft type might work better in the early years of operation. We have to make sure that we get our predictions right and have the right sort of aircraft for the right sort of volumes to the right sort of places," head of corporate projects at Stobart Group Kate Willard has told the newspaper.

The airport is looking at carriers operating smaller aircraft of unspecified capacity. Willard has underlined that a B737-sized aircraft will be too big for those routes. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Stobart Air currently operates a fleet of seventeen Avions de Transport RĂ©gional turboprops.

Willard has also added that the airport wants to have 2x daily services on all three routes and would be interested in an interline capability at Dublin to facilitate an easier transfer of passengers onto US-bound services.

To boost the airport's attractiveness, the operator is currently modernising runways. The shorter runway should be available to users in January, while works on the longer one, measuring over 1,800 metres, are scheduled to conclude in May 2018. The airport operator also plans to develop a new terminal building. In July 2017, business organisation Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership announced it will invest GBP4.75 million (USD6.3 million) in the airport to boost its attractiveness.