Cable car is 'worth every penny' says Boris
Mayor Boris Johnson rejected criticism about the cost of the Emirates Air Line at the transport link's opening on Thursday.
He was one of the first to use the North Greenwich to Royal Docks connection when he greeted London's media before the cable car welcomed paying guests at around midday.
"It's a fantastic piece of engineering and an amazing tourist attraction," said the Mayor. "I'd say it was worth every penny and I want to pay tribute to Emirates which put forward a sizeable amount."
The airline contributed £36m in sponsorship, while Transport for London has also applied for £8m of European funding.
"That's £44m on a build cost of £45m," said the Mayor. "People say it's an expensive cable car but nowhere on the Alps has anyone had to fit two 90 metre high piers to get across a river."
The cable car has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction.
The construction was led by Mace and saw more than 1,500 people working on the project.
Prices for a single journey are £3.20 with an Oyster pay as you go and £4.30 without.
Frequent flyers can buy 10 journeys for £16.
Journey times are around five minutes for a single trip at peak period but are likely to be slowed down at other times to allow for a longer experience.