Carlisle Airport owner Stobart Group has signed a new deal aircraft deal, worth more than £40m.
Its aircraft leasing division, Propius, has made an agreement with GOAL (German Operating Aircraft Leasing) for three Embraer E195 jet aeroplanes.
These aircraft are on lease to airline Flybe, which will continue to use them on this basis until the end of next year bringing in $9.2m (more than £7m).
The total value of the deal is $56m (£42.7m), before deductions connected to maintenance security deposits.
This deal was announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange, with Stobart saying it had been funded with proceeds a leasing deal also with GOAL, worth more than £50m, which was signed earlier this year.
The aircraft immediately increase the amount of assets held by Stobart Group's aviation division "for a relatively low capital cost".
In the long-term, the company will use the aircraft for its own airline, Stobart Air, which is based in Dublin.
Stobart chief executive Warwick Brady said: "Aviation is a core part of the group's strategy to grow the overall business.
"The investment into the Embraer 195 aircraft will support the growth plans in our regional airline and aircraft leasing businesses, and adds further flexibility as we continue to grow our regional airline, develop our valuable long-term franchise with Aer Lingus, support Flybe in the Isle of Man and grow passenger numbers at London Southend Airport."
Stobart Group can trace its roots to the 1970s when it began as an offshoot of an agricultural contracting business in Hesket Newmarket.
It sold a majority stake in Eddie Stobart three years ago to concentrate on other interests principally aviation, warehousing and biomass.
Earlier this year it submitted plans to develop the runway and terminal at Carlisle Airport as part of a bid to bring international passenger flights to Belfast, London Southend and Dublin, which could be taking off by summer 2018.
This has been supported by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is set to invest £4.75m.
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