CHICAGO – OpenAirplane reached a milestone this week as it topped more than 10,000 pilots signed up to fly with the airplane rental service.
More than 58% of those pilots’ home airports are now less than 25 miles from the nearest participating airplane, compared to just 22% when the service launched in mid-2013, according to officials. Hours flown using OpenAirplane have more than doubled year over year.
“We’re thrilled to see our community of pilots grow, ” said Rod Rakic, co-founder at OpenAirplane. “More pilots are stepping up to get more value out of flying. Together we can make private aviation more valuable, safer, and more fun for everyone.”
Pilots who sign up to fly with OpenAirplane now have access to more than 320 aircraft at 90 locations across the United States, from coast to coast, including Alaska and Hawaii.
OpenAirplane offers pilots the opportunity to complete a Universal Pilot Checkout that’s specific to the make and model of aircraft they typically fly, which enables them to access airplanes across the OpenAirplane network.
Normally pilots are faced with having to waste half a day and hundreds of dollars to get checked out to fly at each new location they rent from, OpenAirplane officials note.
Pilots find available planes by checking OpenAirplane on their smartphones, tablets, or any desktop computer with Internet access. They see what aircraft are available, details about how they are equipped, rental rates, and how the planes have been rated by other pilots who have flown that particular aircraft. Pilots can then request a reservation – all without needing to pick up a phone.