A former government minister has backed the launch of commercial flights at Carlisle airport during a visit to the site.

Conservative MP Grant Shapps was given a tour of Carlisle Lake District Airport by representatives of owner Stobart Group and said it was a fantastic example for the rest of the country.

Mr Shapps, who chairs the All Parliamentary Party Group on General Aviation, was at there just four weeks ahead of the first flights taking off from the regional airport for the first time in more than 25 years.

Mr Shapps said: “It is great to be visiting this impressive new airport that is providing highly skilled and paid jobs, as well as providing a major boost to the local economy.

"I wish Stobart Group all the best of luck and it’s a fantastic example for the rest of the country."

Loganair will operate the flights to and from London Southend Airport, Belfast City Airport and Dublin Airport.