I thought that you had to perform all your ATPL multi-crew time in aircraft with a certificated minimum of 2 crew, but I've heard of some pilots using time in single-pilot aircraft towards their EASA ATPL licence. Is this true? If so, could someone explain how is this possible?

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According to the UK CAA you need:

500 hours in multi-pilot operations on aeroplanes;

Notice that it does not say anything about the aircraft being multi-pilot/certified for two crew members.

An air carrier can specify in their ops manuals that, for their operations, they require a particular airplane to be operated with two crew members even if it is only type certificated for one crew member. If their manual is approved, then it is now a "multi-pilot operation" regardless of the type-certification status of the airplane.

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