China Eastern Airways became the first airline to receive A350 XWB aircraft equipped with Airbus new touchscreen cockpit displays. 

The airline took delivery of its brand new A350-900 on December 18, 2019, officially marking the beginning of Airbus’ touchscreen cockpit displays-equipped aircraft deliveries. 

The technology, developed with French aerospace company Thales, is currently sold as an option. Out of 51 A350 XWB customers, 20 airlines have opted for the touchscreen displays, according to Airbus. 

The brand-new technology is aimed to facilitate more flexibility and better interaction between both pilots in an Airbus A350XWB. It was certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2019, becoming the first screen of this type in the world cleared for use on board commercial aircraft, Thales has highlighted in a statement. 

The interface of touchscreens in A350 cockpits is similar to the latest generation smartphone or tablet in terms of interaction, according to the developer. But it also offers “an unprecedented degree” of precision, as well as enables pilots to interact directly (on demand) with the Electronic Flight Bag applications. 

Touchscreens designed for use in an aircraft cockpit are required to offer low reflectivity, operate in dense electromagnetic environments, withstand high levels of vibration and sustain their high performance characteristics throughout the product lifecycle.