It’s been a turbulent few months for Stobart Group.

Delays to the long-awaited commercial flights from Carlisle airport, boardroom battles and legal action with company founder Andrew Tinkler have seen the company in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

By now, it should be being feted for bringing thousands of visitors to the county via carrier Loganair and giving thousands of Cumbrians easy access to London, Dublin and Belfast via plane for the first time in 25 years.

Due to launch in June, it was postponed until September because of issues with not enough air traffic controllers. It has been postponed again until spring 2019, as those problems have not been resolved and the buildings were not quite ready.

So it’s not there yet – but chief executive Warwick Brady, appointed in 2016, remains confident that Stobart Group will deliver for the people of Cumbria.

He says: “We’re a Cumbrian company and passionate about making this work for the county.

“We are committed that this will ready for spring 2019. Building an airport is a big project. It was an ambitious project to rebuild the airport and offer commercial flights at the same time, but we thought we could make it.

“Conspiring events meant we were delayed but every business needs to be very ambitious. If you don’t push the business, you don’t get things done.

“We’ve chosen to push the opening back to spring as we want this business to be successful. Airlines don’t tend make money in winter. It’s not a good time to start. We need to target visitors at the peak times. ”

The airport opened for general aviation last Tuesday, so existing businesses and people on the site which use it for light aircraft can fly again after several months of using other airfields or mothballing their craft.

Kate Willard, Stobart Group’s head of corporate projects, has thanked the general aviation community for their support and understanding.

And Mr Brady says: “It’s great that it is open now for general aviation,” and he is keen to point out that the airport is not just about commercial flights.

He says: “Not only do we have the general aviation community, we are in a great position. We have 31 acres of prime industrial land and that‘s a really big part of what we’re trying to do here. There’s an opportunity to develop.

“We want a regional airport and a land strategy – this could be a valuable industrial estate.”

Company founder Andrew Tinkler has been vocal about the make-up of the company’s board, wanting to oust the sitting chairman.

There is also ongoing legal action and hearings have been held in the last week at the High Court.

Mr Brady will only say: “Andrew Tinkler is a great entrepreneur. He had the foresight to recruit the next generation to run the business.

“We didn’t want this to play out in public, but that is where we are now. We wouldn’t choose to be in the situation we are in. It’s a shareholder issue.

“It is distracting but I’ve told the people who work for Stobart Group, we are where we are, but we need to look forward. We need to execute the strategy for the company, created by Mr Tinkler.”