Think Defence has an article up which documents the current woes that the UK is operating under when it comes to placing their new class of carriers into service in the near future.
The perfect solution is being built right here in the US. The America class Amphibious Assault Ship. Think about it (how do you like that play on "Think Defence"!)
A medium power like the Royal Navy/Marine Corps could quite effectively deploy these ships almost independently to certain actions. As a matter of fact anything short of war would allow independent deployment.
War time contingencies would allow a tailored airwing to operate for expected circumstances.
- a show of force and air strikes over Libya? Simply go with a sea control type manning...20 F-35B's with a mix of utility and attack helicopters...
-peace keeping operations in North or Central Africa? Go with a standard air compliment.
A better solution was to be found. The UK simply didn't reach for it. Heck, even the LPD-17 could have provided almost as much aviation capability as they'll have on their new Queen Elizabeth class carriers! I'm being dramatic but you get the point.