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  1. ITV Report

Return of passenger flights to Carlisle of "huge significance" for Northern Powerhouse

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Commercial passenger flights are returning to Carlisle Lake District Airport for the first time in more than 25 years.

Scottish airline Loganair will connect the Cumbria airport, owned and operated by the Stobart Group, with London Southend, Belfast City and Dublin.

The first flight, to Dublin Airport, will take off on Thursday following a blessing from the Archdeacon of Carlisle, the Ven Lee Townend.

Kate Willard, director of partnership development at the Stobart Group, said the launch was of "huge significance" for the Northern Powerhouse as it would connect regions and economies.

"It's going to be an extraordinary day for the airport and for the city of Carlisle.

"Airports are symbols of confidence and this shows Cumbria is open for business."

– Kate Willard, the Stobart Group

She said the airport would bring new tourists to attractions in the Lake District, as well as making travel easier for Cumbrian residents.

Loganair will use 33-seater Saab 340B aircraft to operate the flights, with nine return services on weekdays and five at weekends.

The carrier was initially due to resume flights in June last year but this was delayed due to a shortage of air traffic control staff.

The site is a former RAF airfield and its last commercial passenger flight was in 1993.