Emirates Air Line, the UK’s first urban cable car, was officially launched today as the British capital gears up to host the London 2012 Olympics.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline signed an AED204m (US$55.5m), ten-year sponsorship deal to rebrand the cable car service, the most expensive such system ever built, in October.
The 1.1km cable line, which crosses the River Thames, has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction and offers views across the City of London, Canary Wharf, Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Emirates Airline president Tim Clark and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy CBE, attended the first official flight.
Emirates Airline, one of the world’s biggest airlines by passenger numbers, has used its sponsorship deals to fuel its global marketing strategy. The airline sponsors the English Premier League football club Arsenal and also owns the naming rights to the club’s stadium.
The Dubai airline also has deals with six football clubs in Europe and has said it is considering plans to advertise during next year’s Super Bowl, typically the most watched television show in the US.