Bosses at Carlisle’s airport have confirmed a flurry of redundancies as they respond to the devastating impact of coronavirus on the industry.

In August, operators Stobart revealed they were “reluctantly but unavoidably engaged in consultations” with staff about redundancies.

Yesterday they confirmed that 16 members of staff had been made redundant, as the firm battles with the impact of Covid-19.

It comes as industry body Abta warned the Government is failing to provide “basic tools” to help travel firms during the pandemic.

Existing support “doesn’t work” and “won’t avoid job losses”, they said.

Responding to Abta’s claims, Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: “The Government has to undoubtedly reassess how they support regional airports to allow them to get back on their feet, it is not the time for that now, it undoubtedly will come. They will have to assess how they support regional airports at least in the medium term.”

The MP added: “It is disappointing to hear of any job losses, but it is an understandable consequence of the present climate and hopefully things will change in the not-too-distant future, and hopefully jobs will be created at the airport.

“The aviation industry is in a lull right now because of the pandemic but when we come out the support for regional airports will be there and hopefully we can bring the activity back to pre-covid levels.

“The virus does not travel on a passport so adopting a whole country approach to health measures makes no sense at all.”

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said 20 travel firms who were members of Abta have collapsed since March.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted that the importance of the travel and tourism sectors to the UK economy is “appreciated and understood by everyone in Government”.

He pointed to the furlough scheme and said the Government “had been working flat out all summer to try to revive tourism and travel”.

A spokeswoman for Stobart Group said: “Sadly, we have had to make 16 employees redundant and are currently working hard to retain the remaining members of our team.

“Covid-19 continues to have a devastating impact on the aviation industry as a whole and Carlisle Lake District Airport is no exception.

“Following the temporary closure on April 1, the airport remains closed to passenger operations until further notice.

“The airport team is taking an innovative approach to identifying new revenue opportunities, however, with continued airport costs and zero operating income, it has been necessary to make these difficult decisions.

“We will continue to work with partners in the county, including the Local Enterprise Partnership and city and county councils to find a way forward for this important Cumbrian and Borderlands asset.”