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Sat 11 Aug 2012 09:40 AM

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500,000 people take trip on Emirates Air Line

London's new cable car system is sponsored by Dubai airline in $56m agreement

500,000 people take trip on Emirates Air Line
(AFP/Getty Images)

London's new cable car system, made possible by a $56m sponsorship deal with Dubai's Emirates Airline, has carried more than 500,000 passengers in its first six weeks of operation.

On average, since the start of the Olympic Games, more than 20,000 flights across the River Thames have been taken on the Emirates Air Line each day. 

London's newest mode of transport is open seven days a week and has extended its opening hours later into the evening during the Olympics and Paralympics.

The 1.1km long river crossing, between Greenwich and the Royal Docks, has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction, the equivalent of 30 buses.

The brand new river crossing, which will assist the ongoing regeneration of the area, has already improved connections between two venues - ExCeL and the North Greenwich Arena, which are being used during the London 2012 Games. 

Since it opened six weeks ago, the Emirates Air Line has also been the home to dozens of live media broadcasts as well as a music gig called 90 metres up in the air by singer Newton Faulkner.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: "The Emirates Air Line is fast becoming an iconic way of traversing the Thames and an important link for Londoners living in the east of our city.

"Its value has been evident during the 2012 Games and with this part of London set to thrive with new homes and businesses it will continue to be a significant part of our public transport network."

Danny Price, Transport for London's head of the Emirates Air Line, added: "The positive response to London's newest river crossing has been fantastic.

"The Emirates Air Line has seen a boom in visitors in its first summer as people from across the globe visit the capital for the 2012 Games."

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