THERE could potentially be a delay regarding the sale of the Carlisle airport due to an ongoing financial dispute.

The potential ‘stall’ follows after it was announced the group behind Carlisle's Lake District Airport could be facing an early loan repayment of over £190m over alleged agreement breaches.

Esken's London Southend Airport (LSA) is under scrutiny over allegations of a 'technical' violation concerning a convertible loan agreement established with Carlyle Global Infrastructure Fund (CGI).

CGI previously issued an acceleration notice to LSA, insisting on the repayment of the loan.

On Monday, the Esken group announced that it had "negotiated a recapitalisation proposal with Carlyle and has until March 4 to decide whether to accept the plan".

This proposal, which is set to drastically reduce the group's wholly owned subsidiary Esken Aviation Limited (EAL) shares in LSA to a minority interest, has the support of CGI.

In the update to investors (February 19), the Esken Group said: “The uncertainty that CGI's demand for repayment by LSA has created, has stalled any progress on the disposal of non-core assets”.

In June 2023, airport and renewables bosses revealed on its yearly report financial concerns with a plan to exit from 'non-core assets' to help support remaining operations.

The airport north of Carlisle was named as one of their 'non-core' assets with an aim to sell off the site by the end of the group’s financial year, February.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) held a panel meeting in December, placing the airport on the agenda.

The LEP has been approached by Esken to meet potential purchasers, with details of the potential buyers also being shared amongst members at the meeting.

Speculation had arisen that Carlisle United's new owners, the Piatak family, maybe the ones in talks over its potential purchase.

However, the American businessman confirmed he and his family are not currently engaged in talks over its future, despite being approached.

The Esken Group was approached for comment.