Flight 217 is the 72nd Ariane 5 launch and the first in 2014. It follows on from a series of 57 consecutive successful Ariane 5 launches. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.
The main mission of Flight 217 is to place the ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus commercial payloads into a standard GTO orbit. The mass of ABS-2 is 6329.9 kg, with 3080 kg for Athena-Fidus. Allowing for the adaptors and the SYLDA 5 structure, total performance required from the launcher for the orbit described above is 10,214 kg.