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Flights from destinations in Ireland and the south of England set to boost tourism in Cumbria

Carlisle Lake District airport, located 40 miles north of Keswick, is due to open for commercial flights from June this year.

The small airport, which was last used for commercial flights in 1993, is mainly used for local sightseeing trips, flight training, and other non-commercial tasks. Previous attempts to establish passenger flights have largely failed – although it has been tried several times since the 1940s.

Due to the steady increase in tourism to Cumrbia in recent years, however, there is hope that this development may have greater sticking power. Visitor numbers rose by 5% in 2015-16, and in 2017 the Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership supports this development. The Partnership has committed £4.95m to help make improvements to the terminal and runway.

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism says: ‘’The Carlisle Airport plans will be a great boost for Cumbria’s connectivity and our £2.72billion tourism industry. Cumbria Tourism has consistently supported Stobart’s development plans for many years. The fact that we as a county are about to have our very own airport to service the economic growth needs of the County is an exciting time for the region; especially with Hadrian’s Wall having just celebrated 30 years as a World Heritage Site and last year’s announcement for the Lake District also gaining World Heritage Status.

“Last year we welcomed 45 million visitors to Cumbria, a large proportion of those were day visitors. Part of Cumbria Tourism’s marketing strategy is to increase awareness of the beauty and culture of the wider county, outside of the core Lake District National Park and in doing so increase the number of visitors and time they spend in those areas. New flights through Carlisle Airport support those opportunities for new and existing visitors to choose alternative travel options to come and explore iconic landscapes and experiences throughout the county.”

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