Etihad Pilots Certified to Fly Both A350, A380 Aircraft
Airbus Airlines

Etihad Pilots Certified to Fly Both A350, A380 Aircraft

A6-XWB Etihad Airways (50 Years Livery) Airbus A350-1041 A35K JFK KFJK

DALLAS – Abu-Dhabi-based (AUH) Etihad Airways (EY) becomes one of the first airlines to enable its pilots to operate both the Airbus A350 and A380 models. This is a key milestone in pilot training and flight operations.

After successfully obtaining regulatory approvals and completing thorough pilot training, EY has qualified its pilots to operate both Airbus A350 and A380 aircraft interchangeably. This milestone positions EY as one of the pioneering airlines to attain such versatility in its pilot capabilities.

Etihad’s Chief Operating Officer, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said that EY is immensely proud to be one of the first airlines to certify its pilots to fly the Airbus aircraft interchangeably. This development means improved flexibility and efficiency throughout the carrier’s widebody network.

“This achievement will enhance the resilience and flexibility of the airline’s network and is a testament to our commitment to continuously push the boundaries of efficiency, innovation, and customer satisfaction, and at all times ensuring safety is Etihad’s number one priority.”

Etihad’s Chief Operating Officer, Mohammad Al Bulooki

However, this is not the first time the carrier has achieved such a feat. Over the past decade, the airline obtained similar approvals to qualify its Airbus pilots to fly the A320 and A330 types and the A330 and A340 types interchangeably. It also approved its Boeing pilots to fly the Boeing 777 and 787 types, setting new standards for fleet commonality.

Etihad Airways A6-APH Airbus A380. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

Type Ratings for Pilots


Generally speaking, airline pilots are type-rated on specific planes, meaning they are trained to fly particular aircraft. This is because piloting an aircraft is a technical job that requires a lot of training and expertise. Aircraft are handled differently, and pilots are trained for various emergency scenarios for each model.

Airline pilots are typically restricted to flying only one aircraft type. However, under certain conditions, such as high similarity in flight decks, pilot procedures, and the implementation of special training, pilots may be authorized to operate two similar aircraft types through a dedicated program approved by aircraft manufacturers and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This is known as Mixed Fleet Flying or MFF.

This latest development is set to enhance the efficiency and flexibility of Etihad’s widebody route network since pilots are qualified to fly the Airbus A350 and A380.


Feature Image: A6-XWB Etihad Airways (50 Years Livery) Airbus A350-1041 A35K JFK KFJK. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

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South Africa-based aviation journalist who writes about airlines, routes, networks, new developments.

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