Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) approved All Nippon Airways' (ANA) plans to introduce mixed fleet flying (MFF) for the A380 and A320 family aircraft.
Under this new pilot, some of the benefits include higher flexibility of scheduling of flight crew, improved cost-efficiency, and a better matchup for aircraft capacity to passenger demand.
MFF is unique to Airbus aircraft. This licence will allow pilots to fly aircraft of slightly differing configurations within the same working roster as long as relevant training is conducted — in ANA’s case, pilots can fly both the A380 and A320 — and enable crews to fly a mixed pattern of short- and long-haul services.
“MFF allows airlines increased flexibility and cost-efficiency and has become one of the keys to Airbus’ success,” said Stéphane Ginoux, head of North Asia region for Airbus and president of Airbus Japan. “For airlines, the increase in revenue hours flown by pilots due to less standby and downtime results in a significant improvement in productivity.”
The similarities that the A380 and A320 share extend from the flight deck into the passenger cabin as well, with similar systems, control panels and procedures. The common features between these two planes can help streamline maintenance procedures as well and reduce costs.
The Japanese carrier is the first in the world to operate between one of the smallest and the largest commercial Airbus aircraft, and it will allow ANA to interchange the two differently sized aircraft at short notice without crew-scheduling difficulties in order to better match aircraft capacity to passenger demand.