Eutelsat Communications has launched its Atlantic Bird 7 satellite into orbit on a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch from the ocean-based Odyssey Launch Platform in international waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The rocket launched carrying the Astrium-made 4.6t satellite and, after a flight of one hour and seven minutes, the Zenit-3SL booster released Atlantic Bird 7 into geosynchronous orbit.

Atlantic Bird has 50 transponders, 11 more than Atlantic Bird 4A, as well as two beams that will provide television coverage across the Middle East, North Africa and North-West Africa.

Eutelsat operates at 7°W in close collaboration with Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat, which manages its own system of three satellites at this location.

Following Atlantic Bird 7’s operation Atlantic Bird 4A will be redeployed to an alternative location where it will remain in full commercial service.