Eurocopter has made its first helicopter delivery to Slovakia, after identifying a potential market for about 20 sales in the East European country.

The company has handed over one AS365 Dauphin to Slovakian trade organisation Martimex. The helicopter has been bought by power company Slovenske Elektrarny. The Slovakian media has reported that further sales are expected, to Transpetrol and Slovenske Plynarensky Priemysel, although these remain unconfirmed by the manufacturer.

Eurocopter has struck an offset deal with Slovakian production plant Letecke Opravarne Trencin (LOT), which, it says, allows the plant to modify the helicopter's avionics, equipment and interiors to meet customer requirements. The Franco-German company denies Slovak reports that the deal allows LOT a 10% production share, rising later to 40%. Eurocopter says that LOT's workshare on any helicopters sold in Slovakia will be agreed on sale by sale.

Interest in sales to Slovakia rose in March 1997, when Eurocopter president Jean-Francois Bigay signed an agreement in Paris with Slovakian economy minister Karol Cesnek to improve trade links.

Source: Flight International