CARLISLE Airport is to be 'acquired' by an Isle of Man-based company, it has been confirmed.

The company involved - Ettyl Limited - confirmed today that it has signed agreements for the acquisition of Stobart Air and Carlisle Lake District Airport from Esken Limited, the aviation and energy infrastructure group.

The deal will go ahead subject to bank consent.

In a statement, Ettyl Limited today said that Stobart Air will continue to operate the existing Aer Lingus Regional franchise that is currently contracted to run through to December 2022 – though this will be subject to change of control consents.

The firm's intention is to retain all staff currently employed by Stobart Air and Carlisle Lake District Airport.

Further announcements regarding Ettyl’s development plans for Stobart Air and Carlisle Lake District Airport will be made over the coming weeks and months.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jason Scales, Chief Executive Officer, Ettyl Limited, said: "We are delighted to have signed agreements for these acquisitions.

"In the immediate term it will be very much business as usual in respect of both Stobart Air and Carlisle Lake District Airport’s operations and our deal ensures that the great teams within those businesses are retained.

‘We will be making further announcements over the coming weeks and months regarding our plans.

"Ettyl sees significant opportunities for increased regional connectivity as economies recover from the impacts caused by the pandemic and return to stability across the UK and Ireland."

Andrew Tinkler, the Cumbrian entrepreneur credited with winning the battle to have the airport built, commented: "It hasn't happened yet but if it does go ahead I hope they can make it work - for the benefit of Carlisle and the surrounding area."