Lifting off from the Odyssey Launch Platform at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL rocket placed the 5,173 kg (11,381 lb) Thuraya 3 satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, with the spacecraft separating from the upper stage at 1,388 miles above the Pacific Ocean. The flight plan called for deployment into a 6.2 degree inclined orbit, an optimal orbital location for the Thuraya system.
Two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, the first stage and then the payload fairing separated. Six minutes later, the second stage separated from the Block DM upper stage. After the first burn of the Block DM, the spacecraft coasted in a parking orbit for one hour, performing thermal maneuvers, such as a slow roll, to maintain a benign satellite environment. Following this coast, the Block DM burned a second time for about six minutes and then coasted again until spacecraft separation, over the Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand. Boeing acquired a signal from the spacecraft at a ground station in Fillmore, California.
With a designed lifetime of 12.5 years, the satellite will be positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 98.5 degrees East Longitude.