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European satellite operators are pressing Arianespace to find ways to immediately reduce the cost of launching satellites on now Ariane 5 and in the future on Ariane 6.
And why are they doing this? To quote them:
“What is sure is that Europe deserves and requires a [reorganized launcher sector] ahead of 2019, the letter says. “[C]onsiderable efforts to restore competitiveness in price of the existing European launcher need to be undertaken if Europe is [to] maintain its market situation.
“In the short term, a more favorable pricing policy for the small satellites currently being targeted by SpaceX seems indispensable to keeping the Ariane launch manifest strong and well-populated.” [emphasis mine]
It seems that they take very seriously the competitive challenge being presented by SpaceX.