STOBART Air, the airline lined up to launch scheduled passenger flights from Carlisle Airport, has reported a loss of €2.6m (£1.9m) for 2014.

It left the company with accumulated losses of €9.8m (£7.2m) at the year end, up from €7.1m (£5.2m) the year before.

And the amount owed to creditors rose from €0.96m (£0.71m) in 2013 to €5m (£3.7m).

The accounts also reveal that, in September 2014, Stobart Group — the airline’s largest shareholder — provided it with a revolving credit facility of €5.5m (£4.1m).

Stobart Air, formerly Aer Arann, operates Aer Lingus’ regional services under a franchise agreement.

Management recently told staff that it had made a profit [in 2015] for the first time since Stobart Group helped rescue the airline from examinership – the Irish equivalent of administration – in 2010.

Carlisle Airport-owner Stobart Group owns 45 per cent of Stobart Air while the investment group Invesco has 40 per cent.

Press reports in Ireland have suggested they are looking to sell their stake.

A statement issued by Stobart Group in response does not rule out a sale.

It says: “Stobart Air is working closely with our investors to position the airline for the next stage of investment and to assist us in delivering on our commitment to growing the airline further in 2016.

“There is no final outcome as yet from this process.”

It is not clear what, if any, impact a change of ownership at Stobart Air would have on plans for flights from Carlisle.

In November, the Government confirmed that proposed routes from Carlisle to London Southend, Belfast and Dublin are among five to share a £7m subsidy for new services from regional airports.

The intention is to start services this year, with twice-daily flights from Carlisle to London Southend, one flight a day to Belfast and one to Dublin to provide onward connections to the United States.