London’s cable car celebrates passing 13 million journeys as TfL looks for a new title partner

07 September 2021

More than 13 million journeys have been made on the Emirates Air Line since it launched, TfL revealed today as it began the search for a new sponsor for London's only cable car.

The cable car, which opened in the summer of 2012 as part of TfL's preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, crosses the River Thames and has complemented major regeneration in both the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula. Journeys start from just £4 for adults, £2 for children, and under-5s travelling for free, making it one of London's best value experiences for a unique day out.

Since opening, the fully accessible, unique experience has established itself as one of London's favourite leisure attractions - with individuals, families and groups enjoying spectacular views as they travel over the river. More than 13 million passenger journeys have been made since it opened, with it regularly seeing 40,000 passengers a week during the summer months. By providing a new and spectacular way to cross the river, it has helped encourage new shops, experiences and homes to be built on either side of the Thames.

This summer has been one of the most popular for the cable car since opening, with weekly figures reaching more than 60,000 journeys as Londoners and those visiting the city seek out fun activities to do as part of a day out in the city. The recent August Bank Holiday weekend was the most popular since 2012 with 28,000 journeys, and the week in total also had the highest number of customer journeys in eight years.

The cable car has been recently recognised with social media popularity increasing throughout 2021. It has been described as one of the most 'Instagramable' experiences in the capital, with it frequently featuring on top things to do and affordable day out lists as well as on viral TikTok and Instagram posts.

TfL's initial ten year deal for the sponsored naming rights for the cable car will end in June 2022 and TfL has now begun the process of seeking a new commercial partner who shares the ambition to build on this success and cement the cable car's position as one of the best things to do in London.

The new deal will be for a minimum of three years and would provide the new partner with a unique opportunity to rename London's cable car in collaboration with TfL, helping to promote their brand to a massive public audience in London as well as across the globe on the iconic Tube map.

Josh Crompton, TfL's Head of the Cable Car, said: "Our cable car is unique to London and it provides spectacular views for those wanting to cross the Thames to get to the Royal Docks or Greenwich Peninsula. These latest figures show that it remains as popular as ever with Londoners and visitors. The Emirates Air Line is an instantly recognisable part of London now and we are keen to work with a brand following our successful 10-year partnership with Emirates. This exciting opportunity will allow the successful brand to get both national and global awareness, building on the success of this unique part of the London transport network as well as feature on the Tube map."

Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand at Emirates, said: "Emirates is proud to have helped establish what has become an iconic part of the London skyline and to have contributed to the regeneration of the local area in the process. We have thoroughly enjoyed our great 10-year partnership, but it is now time to pass the baton onto a new partner. We wish the team behind this unique experience all the very best in the future and will watch with pride."

Providing connections to both ExCeL London and The O2, over the years the Emirates Air Line has been visited by famous faces such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, tennis player Novak Djokovic, boxer David Haye and singer-songwriter and podcaster Jessie Ware.

It has also hosted champagne flights, live music performances, family events, speed dating, sky-high dining, book launches, marriage proposals and even transported the Rugby World Cup and the ATP Finals tennis trophies.

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Notes to editors

  • Interested parties in the sponsorship will be required to complete an invitation to tender document. More information available here:
  • The Emirates Air Line is the first urban cable car in the UK. Spanning just over 1km across the Thames between the Greenwich Peninsula (near The O2) and the Royal Docks (near ExCeL London and the Crystal), it takes around 10 minutes for a single crossing and offers unrivalled views of the city. Passengers can enjoy spectacular sights including Canary Wharf, The O2 Arena, the Shard, Thames Barrier, Maritime Greenwich and the Olympic Park as they fly 90 metres above the River Thames. It takes visitors to the highest observation point in London directly above the river.
  • It offers links to the London Underground Jubilee line on the south of the River as well as North Greenwich Pier for River Bus services. On the north of the river it is also in close proximity to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) at Royal Victoria and Custom House which will also be served by the new Elizabeth line when it opens in the first half of 2022 providing new journey options and transforming accessibility.
  • Later this year, the Greater London Authority will leave its current City Hall home and move its headquarters to The Crystal building in the Royal Docks.
  • During the pandemic, the cable car was closed for a short period at the height of the first lockdown in England and reopened in 2020 seeing numbers steadily rise ahead of this summer's surge in passengers. It was also available to keyworkers to use for free as a means of transport to access the Nightingale Hospital, which was based at ExCeL London.
  • Interested parties will need to confirm compliance with the TfL / Greater London Authority (GLA) sponsorship policy before entering into any contract with TfL.