The Treasury has confirmed that proposed routes from Carlisle to Southend, Belfast and Dublin are among five to share a £7m subsidy for new services from regional airports.
Stobart Group, which owns Southend and Carlisle airports, applied to the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund and had been waiting to hear if its bid had been successful.
Chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: “[The subsidy] is good news and a step towards getting fights. We’re certainly a lot closer now than we were this time yesterday. Summer 2016 isn’t out of the question for starting flights.”
He revealed that Stobart is in discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority about works to upgrade the runway and the installation of an instrument landing system at Carlisle. The company expects to spend between £3m and £4m on the project and the plan is then for Stobart Air to offer two return flights daily to Southend Airport.