After successfully launching a service that allows pilots to rent airplanes throughout the U.S. without requiring a formal flight checkout at each location, OpenAirplane has now turned to creating a more cohesive charter market for turboprops and light airplanes. Dubbed FlyOtto, it aims to simplify the way clients book charter trips in smaller airplanes.
The existing system, predominantly served by charter brokers, “is inherently broken,” asserts OpenAirplane and FlyOtto co-founder Rod Rakic. “It’s a race to the bottom created by brokers.” When a charter client wants to schedule a trip, multiple brokers get involved and quotes fly around the Internet seeking the lowest cost, he said, “and the client ends up in the cheapest, oldest airplane they can afford. That’s a terrible way to do business.”
FlyOtto presents a simple interface to charter clients. There is no need for a membership, no initial or recurring fees, just two blank spaces to fill out on the website: the departure and destination locations. FlyOtto then delivers a list of available trips showing the airplane type, trip time and one-way price.
For charter operators, FlyOtto is also free, with no charge for listing airplanes. Operators pay FlyOtto only when a trip is confirmed. FlyOtto launched in late July and flew its first trip in mid-August.