Summer sun flights could be on the departures board at Carlisle Lake District airport next year.

Scheduled trips to a Mediterranean hotspot could be on offer as the airport looks to expand its services.

The idea was signalled by Kate Willard as the relaunched airport celebrated its first month of commercial flights.

The airport chief also revealed that she would like to see more military aircraft using the runways to the east of the city.

There were 110 flights on routes to Southend, Belfast and Dublin during its first month.

Most flights were "half to three-quarters" full, according to Ms Willard who added: “That is about what we are hitting and what we were expecting.”

The airport is expected to lose £2.5 million in its first year, but Ms Willard was pleased with how the first month of operation had gone and her verdict was backed by business and tourism bosses.

The viability of the airport was not just down to seat sales, but also revenue from the neighbouring Eddie Stobart freight business, general aviation and its use by military organisations for maneouvres.

She said: “The success or not of this airport will not be solely dependent on the number of people who get on the planes,” she said.

The Dutch airforce used the airport earlier this year and Ms Willard is keen to see them and other airforces use the runways more.

She said: “I genuinely hope so. That is a really interesting market. I’m working with government to see if this is a market not just for us but regional airports UK plc.”

Many of the flights are more than the minimum £50 price advertised, but Ms Willard said: “ What a nice problem it is to have.

“If the prices are more, that means the route is popular and there is a demand.”

And she said of future plans: "Wouldn't it be lovely to get some summer sun?

"Jonathan Hinkles, managing director of Loganair, on our launch day on July 4, said 'we are going to be looking at other routes'.

"There is the opportunity for new routes with Loganair, wouldn't it be lovely to see a bit of summer sun?

"Could we do a little charter operation? It would be the most popular thing to look at.

"As soon as we started talking about opening here, everyone was saying 'when are you going to Alicante?'

"We want to put on routes which are popular because then people are going to buy seats. It is just working out what those other routes would be.

"I think we need to look at some charters. Those conversations are ongoing.

"But the key to getting the airport sustainable is getting these three routes bedded down."

No details have been released about how many seats were sold during the first month.

Ms Willard, director of partnership development at airport owners Stobart Group, said those figures were kept by operator Loganair and were “commercially sensitive”.

Becky Kielly, safety and compliance manager at the airport said there was “a sense of relief” that the airport was fully operational and the response from passengers had been very positive.

“We have seen business people and holidaymakers use it, and a lot of families making trips,” she added.

Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership provided £5m worth of funding for the new-look airport.

LEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin was delighted at how the first month had gone: “Carlisle Lake District Airport is a really important addition to Cumbria’s transport infrastructure, providing an alternative travel option for business and visitors alike.

“It is excellent to see that over 110 flights have already taken place, and it has raised the profile of the county.

"It sends a message that Carlisle is outward looking and wants to make links internationally.”

Cumbria Tourism Chairman Jim Walker said: “The feedback from tourism businesses has been very positive so far.  embers are very excited about it.

"We have had no hard figures yet, but we know that Carlisle Visitor Centre has had a lot of enquiries about the airport.”