Well, Coronvirus strikes! It has not killed anyone yet int he Uk but has taken a corporate victim. Flybe was in a poor state anyway, needing tax holidays and more investment to try and keep going but the collapse in bookings has done for it.
I hope that there is a chance of a phoenix rising from the ashes to take over the profitable routes (hmm, are there any I wonder) and slots to try and keep the regional air capacity going. However, with the virus about to hit I think this is unlikely and a decision by a Private Equity house would be needed in the next day or two. So sadly, a wind down and sell-off is most likely.
That means the more likely scenario is a bunch of small start up's trying to cherry pick routes and lease planes for the forseeable in the regions - so in the short terms there will be a big undersupply, especially with the virus putting off new entrants.
This may well impact on ariport viability - perhaps here the Government should step into at least help with the costs of mothballing facilities for a a few months until some more services start running again.
In the medium term, trying to be optimisitc, we might find that Flybe's oligopolistic position was the cause of its donwfall. More nimble and smaller suppliers who do not try to create demand but to service it might mean we end up with leaner routes but better services. I can see it being more pricey as after all Flybe was losing money hand over fist as a company so something was wrong with with the financial model (sometimes of course this is just debt loads after long-term mismanagement).
Plus, having flown Flyeb a few times, the abysmal customer experience surely can't be hard to improve on for any new entrant.
It will be interesting to see the capitalist response to the demise of Flybe.