In 1980, ESA entrusted the production, marketing and operation of the Ariane launchers to a private industrial company, Arianespace.
Since it began operations, Arianespace has gained more than 50% of the commericial satellite market, thanks to its reputation for quality, competitiveness and commitment to satisfying its customers.
Among the shareholders of this European company are 36 leading European space and electronics corporations, 13 major banks and the French Space Agency CNES. Altogether 12 countries are represented in Arianespace: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The main shareholder is ArianeGroup.
At Europe's Spaceport Arianespace is responsible for:
- launch operations
- operating the Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz launch sites.