The demise of Flybe in March was a devastating blow for its customers, staff and Belfast City Airport.
Very quickly, Scottish airline Loganair stepped in and announced plans to take up 16 Flybe flights across the UK, including an intention to run some of the former Flybe routes in and out of Belfast City Airport.
However, as the coronavirus came crashing down on the world, its plans to fill the void left at Belfast City Airport were thrown into chaos.
Almost six months on, while the effects of Covid-19 are still being felt, air travel is starting to get back on track and Loganair is preparing to launch two new services from Belfast in a matter of days.
In addition to the flights already running between Inverness and Aberdeen, passengers will be able to fly between Belfast to and Glasgow from Friday, while flights between Belfast and Dundee are due to launch on September 18.
Despite the turmoil faced by the industry in recent months, Loganair's chief commercial officer, Kay Ryan, is optimistic that the time is right for the expansion plans to go ahead.
But she has sounded a note of caution for the industry as a whole, warning of further job losses and even the potential for more airlines to fold in the wake of the global pandemic.
Asked why she believes Loganair will succeed where Flybe failed, Kay says: "There are a couple of reasons - our aircraft size and type are right for the routes.
"We were very selective in the routes that we chose to restart, they're all ones that feed into our hubs, they're all part of our existing network and now we are the largest regional airline in the UK.
"These routes really fit in with our strategy and we're able to provide point to point access for people going up and down the country.
"We have got a bit of history with Belfast in particular, as we were actually the first airline to operate out of Belfast City Airport."
Kay adds: "We provided the first passenger flight in that airport in 1983, so we know the Northern Ireland market.
"There's a real affinity between Scotland and Northern Ireland, there's a lot of visiting between friends and relatives and a lot of business done as well. In fact, one of the reasons we're launching the Dundee route when we are is to fit in with the university commuting traffic."
Of course, nothing is being taken for granted and the airline has also carried out extensive analysis of the market to ensure there will be adequate customer demand.
The effects of Covid-19 mean they are running fewer flights than originally anticipated but so far it is a strategy that appears to be paying dividends and the firm is already looking at expanding further in the coming year.
"The demand is in line with where we would expect it to be," said Kay.
"Everything is being done in a conscious and planned way. We're being asked by customers why we're not doing this flight or that route, but we need to be able to make sure any routes we start are sustainable.
"We don't want to start routes that we don't have the utmost confidence in, but we're really glad to be back in Belfast in a bigger way and there are two or three other routes that we definitely like."
So, while Loganair is looking to the future, the last few months have been anything but easy.
Kay said: "This year was supposed to be our year of consolidation because we had done so much with the rebrand, we had created a new reservation system and then came the sad demise of Flybe.
"It was an open secret they were having issues, so we had plans that if they didn't continue operating their routes, it would be a good opportunity for Loganair as we thought they were a good fit for us.
"It was literally a few weeks later that Covid-19 happened and the whole world changed for everyone."
Loganair ran a scaled-back schedule throughout lockdown but Kay described the months during the first wave of the pandemic as "very tough".
"We're like a lot of other airlines in that we were operating through Covid to some degree, we didn't switch off the lights and lock the door," she said.
"We had a mixture of passengers on the flights, there are a lot of essential workers on the routes, a lot of them are on the medical side and a lot of routes carry oil and gas workers.
"It has been incredibly tough and anyone who says they knew how difficult it was going to be, I'm not sure they are telling the truth.
"The scale of recovery has been slower than I thought it would be, now we're just trying to establish the trend of demand from customers.
"We've seen customers are booking very late which I think is just to do with uncertainty on every level.
"I think next summer is going to be different and certainly other areas are seeing demand for next summer, I think people are thinking that they have missed their holiday this year and they're not going to miss it next year," she adds.
"We're getting a lot of requests from people wanting to know when the flights for next year are going to be on sale and we're planning to have summer 2021 up by September 9.
"It isn't far off from where we would normally be, maybe a little bit earlier than usual.
"In terms of support, we would like to see air passenger duty abolished, you'd be surprised if I said anything different. We have campaigned for an end to it along with other airlines, we're not alone.
"The government has helped a lot of different sectors, we have seen things like Eat Out To Help Out, but there's been nothing for the airlines.
"The redundancies in the industry have been well publicised, it's going to be a long hard winter, that's for sure, and I would be surprised if there aren't further casualties in some shape or form."
Kay herself has experienced the devastation of redundancy, although it was this apparent setback that brought her to Loganair.
She started out her career working in the hotel sector before moving to Thomas Cook.
From there, she moved to Eastern Airways where she worked for seven years.
She was aware that Loganair was rebranding so sent an email to the firm's chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles, and they arranged to meet for a chat.
She said: "We discussed how we saw the role because it was a new role for the company and I was really excited to be a part of the rebrand.
"The opportunity to be part of a restart doesn't come along very often."