Three year investment to provide a range of new benefits for Londoners including:
- Increased capacity with additional river fleet
- Innovative and easier ways for customers to pay
- An enhanced on-board experience
Thames Clippers, the fastest and most frequent fleet on the River Thames, today announced a new relationship with MBNA, a leading UK credit card provider. The investment - with an initial three year term - was unveiled at a ceremony outside County Hall on London’s Southbank.
The MBNA investment will deliver Londoners a range of benefits including the launch of a new boat in early 2015. The new venture will invest in improved ticketing, greater versatility, innovative and easier ways to pay, as well as enhancements to the on-board experience.
The announcement comes as Thames Clippers celebrates its 15th anniversary operating on the river. Started as a one-boat operation in 1999 carrying 21,000 passengers in its first year, the service now operates a fleet of 13 vessels. Passenger numbers have grown exponentially to 3.3 million in 2013 and are projected to reach 3.6million by the end of 2014. Since launch a total of 28.5m passengers have travelled with Thames Clippers.
Michael Donald, Commercial and Customer Experience Executive of MBNA said: “MBNA is making life easier for our customers, partners and the communities in which we operate. The new MBNA Thames Clippers relationship injects valuable and essential private investment into London’s infrastructure, making life easier for commuters and visitors to get around the Capital.”
Sean Collins, Co-founder and CEO of Thames Clippers said: “In our fifteenth year of serving London’s commuters and visitors I’m delighted we have a new organisation on board. The relationship with MBNA will help Thames Clippers expand our service by growing our fleet and ensure we contribute to the Mayor’s ambitious passenger growth targets for the Thames.”
Paul Samuels, Executive Vice President Global Partnerships AEG Europe who supported the deal, added; “Thames Clippers is a service that has become an important part of the way people in London travel and has made visiting The O2 an even more customer-friendly experience. When we began speaking with MBNA we were excited about the ideas and ambition they had and knew they were the naming rights people we wanted to work with. I’m confident that between us we’ll continue to grow Thames Clippers on the fantastic achievements so far.”
The Mayor and Transport for London in their River Action Plan of 2013, committed to doubling passenger journeys on the Thames to 12 million a year by 2020. The investment by MBNA into the Thames Clippers service will give a significant boost to achieving this aim.
The relationship deal between Thames Clippers and MBNA was negotiated by AEG Global Partnerships, part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, majority owner of the Thames Clippers service and The O2.