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An 'elated' Julia Barfield and David Marks

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An 'elated' Julia Barfield and David Marks climbed aboard the ba London Eye this week as it began turning for the first time. The first passenger stepped aboard just before 11.00 on Tuesday as British Airways counted the growing cost of the project on London's South Bank. The aj has calculated that the month-long delay in opening the attraction could cost the ba London Eye Company around £1 million in lost ticket sales alone. This figure is based on the wheel being half full and with children paying a reduced admission making up a quarter of all passengers. The operating company is jointly owned by the airline, the Tussauds Group and Barfield and Marks. BA has increased its estimation of the wheel's cost from £20 million to £35 million and refused to put a figure on the extra cost from the hold-up. Tuesday's first spin saw competition winners, pre-booked ticket holders and journalists enjoy the first views. It is now open to the general public between 10.00 and 18.00 during winter, switching to 09.00 to 22.00 in summer, when it will have a capacity of 15,000 passengers per day.

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