OpenAirplane has announced that it will be closing the doors on both its aircraft rental platform and its FlyOtto charter platform as of Dec. 23, 2019. According to the company, OpenAirplane was designed to make it easier for pilots to “find, book, fly, and pay for aircraft rental online or with a mobile device” while providing a way for renters to access additional customers. FlyOtto did the same for charter passengers and Part 135 operators. In addition to coordinating rentals, OpenAirplane offered a pilot checkout service that allowed FBOs to verify the pilot’s qualifications and training.
“While the idea of OpenAirplane won us praise, fans, and even super fans, the reality is that too few pilots took to the skies to make the operation sustainable,” said OpenAirplane and FlyOtto founder Rod Rakic. “If there’s one thing that we learned the hard way, it is that it’s tough to get pilots off the couch and into the cockpit.”
Rakic founded the company in 2011 and OpenAirplane.com officially launched in May 2013. FlyOtto came into being in 2016. According to Rakic, more than 25,000 people signed up for the two platforms. OpenAirplane says its support channels will remain open through Dec. 29.