Dubai airline Emirates has agreed to sponsor a cable car river crossing in London, to be known as the ‘Emirates Air Line’ and set to open in time for the 2012 Olympics.
The new river crossing will be created with help from Emirates in a 10-year deal said to be worth £36 million, and will provide a much-needed additional crossing point between the north and south banks of the Thames. The crossing will be situated in the east of the city, joining the area around ExCel, the UK’s largest exhibition and events venue, and the O2 arena, Europe’s biggest entertainment venue. The Emirates Air Line will also provide an additional interchange point between the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
The cable car will travel between two new stations, to be named Emirates Royal Docks and Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, and will carry up to 2,500 passengers across the river every hour. Emirates’ involvement in the new transport system will provide around 80 per cent of the cost of creating the scheme, which London mayor Boris Johnson is hoping will boost the area as a business and leisure centre.
“This multi-million pound deal is tremendous news for London, helping us to deliver a new addition to the city’s skyline,” said Mr Johnson. “The Emirates Air Line will be an exciting and innovative mode of transport easing travel for thousands and offering spectacular bird’s eye vistas of our majestic Thames. The UK’s first urban cable car will also act as a vibrant catalyst for the further regeneration of east London helping to attract jobs and investment for the benefit of Londoners,” he added.