London Cable Car
The cable car has flopped as a commuter link but been a draw for tourists

Transport for London has finally found a new sponsor for the London Cable Car on the Greenwich Peninsula – but will be earning far less from the deal than it received from Emirates.

The technology company IFS will have its name on gondolas, stations, signs and the Tube map from next month. The company is paying £1m over two years, although the deal can continue until 2027.

But TfL earned much more from the previous sponsor, Emirates, whose £36 million, 10-year-deal ended in June.

The Emirates deal offset some of the £60 million cost of building the cable car, which has become a popular tourist attraction but has failed to attract more than a handful of regular commuters.

Earlier this year, single fares for Oyster and contactless card users were hiked from £4 to £5, but the cost of a one-year, 10-trip paper ticket for regular users was frozen at £17.

There are also other, little-publicised concessions aimed at local users: cyclists can board free with their bikes before 9.30am, while travellers with Parkrun barcodes can also travel without charge before 10.30am on Saturdays, when the free 5k run at Victoria Dock takes place.

Boris Johnson at the cable car
Boris Johnson launching the cable car in 2011. Its sponsorship deal with Emirates ran out in June

The cable car opened in 2012 and was billed by Boris Johnson as a catalyst for the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. While both areas have seen thousands of new homes built in the past decade, plans to turn the Royal Docks into a business centre have flopped.

While campaigning to be mayor in 2016, Sadiq Khan wrongly claimed the cable car lost £5 million a year and branded it a “waste of money”. After it was revealed that it actually made a small profit, his campaign said that it was likely to close in 2021.

But today TfL, which is chaired by Khan, said that the cable car “continues to be a success with Londoners and visitors to the capital” and “continues to add great value as a London attraction”.

TfL will have to bear the cost of changing signage at the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks stations from Emirates Air Line to IFS Cloud Cable Car.

Oliver Pilgerstorfer, the chief marketing officer at IFS, said: “IFS is a rapidly growing global technology company and the opportunity to have our brand intrinsically linked with a visible part of the London transport system is fantastic. As well as being iconic, the IFS Cloud Cable Car will proudly serve a diverse customer base of Londoners, tourists and business travellers from around the world on a practical level.

“The opportunity to showcase the IFS brand on this platform makes a lot of sense – our software is behind the construction and running of the IFS Cloud Cable Car which makes for a truly authentic partnership.”

The Greenwich cable car terminal will shortly be joined by a Damien Hirst artwork, Demon With Bowl, after plans were approved by Greenwich Council this spring.

Help 853 continue reporting on public interest issues in Greenwich and southeast London – we are the only outlet regularly producing original journalism in the borough, and we can only do it with your funding.

Please join over 100 donors who use Steady, PressPatron or Patreon to give a little towards our costs every month. The money pays the bills, a wage for the editor and pays others to write for the site.

You can also buy the editor a coffee at Thank you.