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London SE1 website team

British Airways severs ties with London Eye

It's been a South Bank fixture for eight years, but soon the London Eye will no longer carry the British Airways name.

London Eye
London Eye

The airline orginally owned one third of the shares in the South Bank observation wheel, but sold its share to the Tussauds Group in 2005. At the time it signed a deal to continue to lends its name to the world-famous attraction.

"Our sponsorship priorities have changed," said a BA spokeswoman.

"It's been a fantastic time but the relationship has come to a natural end. Of course finance was a consideration.

"We are proud to have played a key role in creating the London Eye. It has become a modern symbol for London worldwide and helped regenerate the South Bank."

Since the 2005 sale Tussauds has been subsumed by Merlin Entertainments which also owns the London Dungeon. They are now understood to be seeking a new title sponsor for the attraction. Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline has already expressed interest.

"The London Eye ... confirmed this week that as part of its future growth strategy it is beginning discussions with a number of global companies with regard to developing a new and original partnership opportunity for the next five years plus – leading up to and through the Olympics," said a spokesperson for the London Eye Company.

The spokeswoman also highlighted "the possibility of taking the 'magic' of the London Eye to other cities internationally – thus providing even greater opportunities for any potential partner in the future".

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