Pradhaan Air Express (6P, Delhi International) has operated its first commercial cargo flight using its own aircraft - which also happens to be the world's first A320 cargo conversion. The A320-200(P2F) completed its first service for carrier on October 1, 2022, flying Delhi International - Mumbai International - Delhi. Flights from Delhi to Hanoi Noi Bai International, Viet Nam began on October 9.

The startup operation only received VT-PNS (msn 02737) in July after it was ferried from the Elbe Flugzeugwerke conversion facility at Singapore Seletar. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the aircraft went to Pradhaan on an operating lease from ST Engineering.

"It was a significant milestone in the journey of the youngest cargo airline in India as well as for the world's first A320-P2F," says the cargo carrier's social media accounts. The 16.56-year-old jet first flew for LATAM Airlines Brasil (JJ, São Paulo Congonhas) and more recently for IndiGo Airlines, ending service there in February 2021.

Partnered with Kenya's Astral Aviation (8V, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Pradhaan Air Express is among a spate of India-based cargo startups getting off the ground recently. Afcom (Chennai) received its first aircraft in September, a B737-800(BCF) while IndiGo Airlines cargo subsidiary IndiGo CarGo took its first A321-200(P2F) earlier this month. Aside from these two carriers as well as SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) and Pradhaan, the only dedicated cargo airline in India is Chennai-based Blue Dart Aviation.

Speaking after receiving the airline's No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from India's Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) in July, Pradhaan Air Express founder Nipun Anand told local media that the carrier would offer charter facilities to Indian shippers and freight forwarders on domestic and international routes.

"We aim to make our small contribution to the big dreams of the Indian cargo industry," he said. Anand is also the founder of the airline general sales agency Zeal Global Corporation.