It's long! here we go...
1st, i thought sir freddie has wet lease dc-10s flying charters.
2nd, Along with EasyJet, Frontier was started with $4.9 million and Reno Air started with $4 million (or something like that) compared to JetBlue or National which had $125 million and $50 million in start-up cash.
The best way to get started is to find your ninche. What to you want to serve. Cater to the business traveler or vacationers. Do you want to provide small service in small towns in the midwest which price doesn't factor as much or provide high-density routes like LAX-ORD where demands change as price changes? Do you want to lease a business jet and fly executives around? Do you want to be an air taxi or an airline? Do you know where you would like to start from?
Next, get your team together. CFO, Flight Department, Flight Attendants, Customer Service Manager, Mechanics (you'll need one even if your outsource maintenance).
Write your business plan.
LOOK FOR VENTURE CAPITOL. They won't give you millions, but they might give you $500,000. That seed money will get you your millions.
Attend the FAA workshop on filing your forms (it's required anyway). They have one about once a month for 135 and 121 form filers. At this time you can talk to the FAA airline representative.
Pitch your idea to anyone who is rich. Western Pacific got their money from Texas Oil Driller Families. WestJet's money was from a teacher's pension fund.
Get your team to develop the regulations for the DOT and FAA, and there are a lot (there are copies of 121 and 135 regulations online, look through them, there are 10234.95 things you need to do to fly, everything from Gate Agent training to the dimensions of the ovens on an aircraft.
Look for your aircraft. Use an outside source if you want, there are apprisiers and such that deal in leasing aircraft. Look for aircraft already registered in your country first (so that you don't do a Midwest Express/SAS hassle). Lease is cheaper to buy, but don't rule out buying. ACMI (wet leases) are expensive, but they include everything on the plane (aircraft, crew, maintenace and insurance. A Dry lease will get you a plane and whatever else you bargin for (crew training, maybe some maintenance).
Your team should be able to do their jobs (uniforms, guidelines for employees etc).
Get your certificate of public convience from the DOT, the you get your operating certificat from the FAA after they review your guidelines and you do initial route proving flights.
There you have it, a very rough outline of what to do. Or if you like the airline industry, just sell fuel...all airlines need fuel!