Rivals have begun circling the carcass of collapsed airline Monarch in the hope of bagging its landing slots as the firm's administrator prepares to carve up its assets.
The likes of easyJet, Wizz Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle and British Airways owner IAG are understood to be mulling moves for the carrier's slots, which span Manchester, Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton and Leeds-Bradford airports, according to people familiar with the matter.
It comes after Monarch's private equity owner Greybull called in administrators to the firm in the early hours of Monday morning.
Greybull cited a highly competitive market, terrorism and the collapse in the value of the pound as factors contributing to Monarch's demise.
A sale of the group is not thought to be on the cards and it is likely that parts of the carrier, including its take-off and landing slots, fleet of aircraft and buildings, will be sold off piecemeal.
The entire process is expected to take between four to six weeks and it also means that the bulk of Monarch's 2,100 staff are likely to face redundancy.
The collapse of the Luton-based airline, which was about to mark its 50th anniversary, has triggered uncertainty for customers and a huge effort to get people already on holiday back to the UK.
Robin Byde, transport analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said that Monarch's assets would be attractive to easyJet in particular.
"Monarch assets may enable easyJet to increase frequencies on common routes, gain more attractive year-round and seasonal slots, and generally take market share.
"On fleets, synergies could be attractive as Monarch currently operates 34 Airbus A320-family aircraft which are compatible with easyJet's fleet," he said.
However, Mr Byde added that British competition authorities and the Civil Aviation Authority would scrutinise any deal closely.
Monarch's pilots are also expected to be sought after, but it is unlikely that Ryanair, which has been forced to cancel flights in recent weeks after miscalculating pilot leave, will be able to snap them up easily.
Gerald Khoo, analyst at Liberum, said: "The pilots are also likely to be in demand, although Monarch's all-Airbus fleet means that they would not be available to relieve Ryanair's shortage (Ryanair operates an all-Boeing fleet)."
Commercial airline pilots require a "type rating" to fly a certain model of aircraft and, while they can hold more than one of these ratings at a time, it is unclear how many Monarch pilots hold the permission to fly Ryanair's fleet.