Esken, the company behind Carlisle's Lake District Airport, is set to enter administration, throwing the future of the dormant airport into uncertainty.

This comes after a planned restructuring strategy, deemed no longer 'commercially viable', was abandoned to 'protect the interests of stakeholders'.

The decision, announced on March 21, follows a dispute regarding an early loan repayment of over £190m over alleged agreement breaches regarding London Southend Airport (LSA). 

Earlier this month, the ex-Stobart Group announced the resolution of its disagreement with Carlyle Group regarding the financing of LSA.

Airport bosses disclosed to shareholders that it had since reached a settlement involving a restructuring plan with Cyrus Capital Partners. 

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange, a spokesperson for the group, said: "Esken has therefore concluded that there is unacceptable risk associated with the court process to achieve the proposed outcome, which could also take considerable time to execute.

"After detailed consideration of the company's current financial situation, and absent any further viable proposals to deliver a stable solution to the challenges faced by the company, the board has now regrettably concluded that the company should be placed into administration in order to protect the interests of stakeholders." 

They confirmed this decision does not breach the Recapitalisation Support Agreement from March 6 and will not affect the recapitalisation of LSA.

The London airport is expected to remain fully operational.

Yesterday (March, 21), the directors filed documents in court to officially appoint AlixPartners UK LLP as administrators. 

The dispute with the Carlyle Group caused a delay regarding the sale of the Carlisle airport, which was originally expected to be sold off by the end of February with a potential buyer lined up. 

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 - with the Carlisle airport falling under one of its 'non-core' assets. 

Despite Esken having approached Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership to meet the potential purchaser, it is currently unclear as to what the administration decision will mean for the fate of the airport seven miles from Carlisle. 

The Esken Group was approached for comment.