NAIROBI, KENYAKenya's Nairobi-based cargo carrier Astral Aviation will be the launch operator of the Airbus A320P2F (Passenger-to-Freighter) aircraft.

The aircraft will join Astral Aviation's fleet in the second quarter of the year. The African carrier will take delivery of one more copy of the same type by year-end. The planes will be provided by Middle Eastern lessor Vaayu Group who firmed up an agreement to lease five A320P2Fs from Singapore's ST Engineering Aerospace Resources.

The A320P2F is Elbe Flugzeugwerke’s second narrowbody freighter conversion program, after the A321P2F, which entered into service with launch customer Qantas in 2020.

The company also performs passenger-to-freighter conversion work on other Airbus types, including the A330-200 and -300.

The A320P2F will be Astral’s first Airbus freighter. The carrier has an all-Boeing fleet that comprises 747s, 767s, and 727s.

The first A320P2F intended for Kenyan operator carried out its first test flight on December 8. The converted A320 was previously operated by Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo for two years, between 2018 and 2020. It was initially delivered to LATAM Airlines Brazil in 2006 and stayed in service with the airline for 11 years.