On 7 July, Air Partner flew all riders and officials from London City airport to Le Touquet in France on four City Flyer Embraer 170s. The Group also organised transfers from Horse Guards Parade to London City airport ahead of the flights, to ensure a quick and easy transfer.
Clive Chalmers, Air Partner’s UK Director of Commercial Jets, commented, “Following a full day of racing on 7 July, there was a very tight turnaround time to get the riders and officials over to France for the next stage to start on 8 July. With no direct scheduled flights from London to Le Touquet, organisers looked to alternative solutions. It is in situations like these that chartering aircraft comes into its own; Air Partner was able to utilise its extensive network of contacts and 52 years of experience to ensure that we could find the best solution for the competitors and organisers.
This is the fourth time that stages of the Tour de France have been held in the UK, but only the second time the country has hosted ‘Le Grand Départ’. The race was officially launched by Prince William and Prince Harry at Harewood House in Yorkshire on 5 July, as a result of the UK winning the race in 2012 and 2013.
Cycling has grown enormously in popularity since the first time the Tour de France came to the UK; the London School of Economics estimates that cycling contributes £3 billion each year in social and economic benefits. At least 100 million spectators were expected in London on Monday