I'd pick a major connurbation or small country without a dominant carrier as my main base...like Brussels in Belgium.
Then I'd look into the historical background of the area or country and develop a route structure around those links, probably strongest to the USA and Africa.
Being supportive of local industry, I would try to base my fleet accordingly; probably a mix of A330s/A340s for long haul, the A320 family for heavy load trunk routes, and I'd have a lo-cost subsidiary to fly the thinner local routes with something like the BAe RJ85/100.
To take advantage and exploit all these great new routes, I'd have to give my airline a suitable name...the Belgian Company for the Exploitation of Air Navigation, or Société Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne would reflect the nature of the company.
Hmmmm, but that doesn't have a ring to it, and it's probably too long to fit down the side of those Avros or those A319s.
How about we take the first letter from each word ??
SABENA.......hey, it makes a word !!! Let's go for it !!!
Next, I'd try and carve a world-beating alliance with another blue-chip, prestigious airline.
What a winning formula !!!
A lighthearted post, but a tribute to all the fine people who in the past flew and worked for Sabena, one of the pioneers of air travel in Europe.
So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(