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There's a quote that goes something like "never let a good catastrophe go to waste" or something like that. This would be a pretty good time for a start-up airline to step in and shake things up.

Problem with the airline industry is that its about as far from free market as you can get. The routes are set by the DOT and auctioned and traded among airlines like football players on an NFL team. And just like the NFL its almost impossible to bring a new team in because of the rules and the massive capital it would take. AFAIK there are a few options for companies that want to operate outside of the normal airport and commercial airline structure, but they are very limited.

The DOT doesn't set routes. The limitation is on landing slots and gates at the busiest airports; existing airlines have those locked up and so new entrants are forced to smaller outlying airports. The FAA does impose some air corridors which might prevent you from flying a direct path, but that's for safety and traffic management.

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