Commercial flight operations at Carlisle Lake District airport resumed on Thursday morning (4 July) after a 25-year hiatus.
The inaugural service to Dublin, operated by Loganair, was blessed by the Archdeacon of Carlisle, the Venerable Lee Townend.
Besides Dublin, Loganair has committed to operating routes to Southend airport and Belfast City airport.
The former RAF airfield, now owned and operated by Stobart Group, has been upgraded with a new terminal, cafe, office complex, additional car parking and access, as well as new runways and taxiways.
Flights had been due to resume in June last year but the relaunch was delayed due to a shortage of air traffic control staff and regulatory matters arising from planned construction works.
Fares to Belfast City lead in from £39.99 and to Dublin and Southend from £44.99, including 20kg baggage.
In total, 28 Loganair flights will fly to and from the airport, using 33-seat Saab 340B aircraft, serving the Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall.
Kate Willard, Stobart director of partnership development, said the airport would play a significant role in the Northern Powerhouse transport infrastructure.
Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said it was a historic day, adding the three new routes would be extremely beneficial for the business community and highly convenient for tourists.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the relaunch would bring new connections, jobs and investment to the region.
Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, added the flights would open up new markets and further bolster the region’s existing £3 billion tourism industry.
“We know from working with the Irish markets there is huge appetite for these new routes and a great opportunity to link up with transatlantic flights and the lucrative US market,” she said.
“Our own visitor survey also demonstrates a growth in visitors from the south east, so the airport is providing further accessibility and convenience for these passengers.”