BUSINESS benefits of Yorkshire's staging of the Tour de France are starting to materialise as a York-based private jet and helicopter charger company reports a surge in bookings for July.

FlyMeNow, based in Abbotsway, has seen a 150 per cent uplift in bookings for next month as it prepare to show customers the county's best scenery on days one and two of the race, on July 5 and 6.

Andrew Whitney, commercial director at FlyMeNow, said: “The Grand Depart is going to be such a fantastic event for the whole region.

"What’s great to see is how so many people are using FlyMeNow as their travel solution throughout the duration of the Tour De France. Due to the style of this event, helicopter charter is proving to be the perfect choice for many of our clients."

With just weeks to go until the cycling race sets off, the team at FlyMeNow, which was founded in 2007, has been busy arranging charters for fans, sponsors and VIPs.

Mr Whitney added: "With the teams cycling across the UK and then heading onto its final stages in France, easy and hassle-free transportation becomes a key part in the planning process for all those following their favourite team.

“As we are based in Yorkshire our knowledge of local airports and helicopters landing spots, as well as locally based Aircraft across the region has proven vital when scheduling these charters.”

As well as the commercial director at FlyMeNow, Mr Whitney is also co-owner of York’s pubThe Whippet Inn, which is also preparing for a record number of bookings on July 6, when the cyclists will be visiting York city centre during the second stage of the race.

Mr Whitney said: “Every business in York and many other towns and cities in Yorkshire are going to see some huge benefits from the Tour De France’s visit to the region.

"At The Whippet, our head chef is already thinking of unusual dishes for the evening’s celebrations. Plus, our mixologist team is going to be creating some interesting cycling themed concoctions on the night.

“I’d love to combine the two offerings and see many of our clients enjoy their helicopter charter, followed by a visit to The Whippet Inn."