The Bulgarian Ministry of Health plans to acquire six emergency medical helicopters at a cost of 135.6 million levs (€69.35m), which will be used to establish the country’s first state-run air ambulance service.
The Ministry has launched direct negotiations with the manufacturer, after Leonardo emerged as the sole bidder in November 2022, under a now-terminated public procurement procedure. The decision not to launch a new tender was made to save time in meeting the government’s aim of acquiring its first helicopter by the end of 2023.
In light of the cancelled tender, the Bulgarian Ministry has confirmed that additional funding for the purchase could be provided from the state budget, if the current amount proves insufficient. Leonardo is also expected to revise its original offer accordingly. Bulgaria is currently the only country in the European Union without an established air ambulance service.