PARIS, October 29, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) announces the loss of the W3B satellite following an anomaly which was detected on the satellite's propulsion subsystem after its launch by an Ariane 5 rocket.
W3B was scheduled to be located at 16 degrees East to replace Eutelsat's EUROBIRD(TM) 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites. With the loss of W3B, the three satellites will now remain in full service at 16 degrees East until the arrival of W3C, whose launch is on track for mid-2011. Eutelsat will also immediately initiate a new satellite programme, called W3D, for a planned launch in the first quarter of 2013.
Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat Communications, commented: "The loss of W3B is a disappointment for Eutelsat and for our customers. We share it with our partners, in particular Thales Alenia Space and with the insurance community. Our attention is now focused on delivering the W3C satellite to 16 degrees East in mid-2011 and on initiating a new programme to compensate for this loss."
Eutelsat is fully insured for the investment in W3B, which guarantees that the Group does not incur any direct financial loss. The non-availability of W3B does not change the financial guidance issued by the company on 30 July 2010.
About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 26 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At 30 June 2010, Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting more than 3,600 television channels. More than 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group's satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat's broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates access to high speed internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ nearly 661 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries.
SOURCE Eutelsat Communications