A NEW airline hopes it will be able to offer passengers flights at Carlisle Lake District Airport.

Lakeland Airways is a new regional airline in the early stages of development.

Its chief executive and founder, Jon Davies, said the company’s plan is to potentially offer flights to key cities within the UK and Ireland and gradually expand further afield once they have established themselves.

Mr Davies said: “We think that there is an opportunity to offer services to and from Carlisle, not only for the people of Carlisle and Cumbria to fly from their local regional airport, but also help bring tourists, visitors and businesses to Carlisle itself.

“We’re just at the stage of gaining the market data that we need to be able to come to an opinion on where people want to fly to.

“The premise of the concept is that we would be looking to fly from Carlisle to key destinations in the UK and Ireland to offer connections to the region.”

In a recently released survey, Lakeland Airways questioned members of the public as to which destinations in the UK they would most like to visit.

Lakeland Airways proposal to base itself at Carlisle Lake District Airport comes after Loganair’s announcement that it had no plans to resume the operation of flights from there in July 2020.

Since the Government's roadmap out of lockdown announcement, holiday providers across the country saw an increase in inquiries, and it is believed there could be a boom in staycations.

More recently, the Government said they were cautiously optimistic on the possibility of summer holidays this year, although Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned there are no “cast iron guarantees” for the public to be able to book their holidays.

Mr Davies hopes Lakeland Airways would be able to offer something to Cumbria, saying: "Initially it would to be a small operation, grown organically based on demand.

"We would hope to fly to the places that locals want to fly to and we would also hope to promote Carlisle and the Lake District, which will be a popular staycation destination.

“If we can offer an alternative to people driving or taking the train then we would be more than happy to cover that market share.

“The Lake District is an asset that will help Cumbria overcome the impact of Covid."

The development is in its early stages and no formal announcements have been made yet.