Regardless of the state of the economy, people are always starting businesses. Some will succeed, some will fail, but seemingly nothing can prevent business formation. This seems to even be true in industries that are notoriously difficult to succeed in, such as commercial aviation. However, that isn't deterring a handful of companies that are attempting to get into the game to fill the gaps left by major airlines that have deserted smaller markets.
The newest is called PEOPLExpress, which is technically the successor to an older company with the same name that operated in the 1980s -- credited by many with developing the low-cost model used today by many fledgling carriers. Of course, the original PEOPLExpress went out of business, which is not necessarily something a new company would want to highlight as it tries to gather steam.
Another new airline is California Pacific Airlines, which is based at a small airport in Carlsbad, California, in an attempt to siphon away some traffic from nearby San Diego International Airport. It would fly to other cities in California and to Phoenix and Las Vegas if it succeeds, while PEOPLExpress intends to be based in Newport News, Virginia, and operate on the East Coast.
In any case, it would seem that the new airlines will have to struggle against the bigger carriers, even if they aren't doing very well themselves. The nation's major airlines are big enough to get into a bidding war and lower their prices to match any sales the upstart carriers might roll out on an introductory basis.
Source: msnbc.com, "Startup airlines face uphill battle to get off ground," Rob Lovitt, Feb. 23, 2012