People say there is nothing like that first time you sit down in a brand new-car. Last fall I reminded myself from my airline days that it is even better when you walk into a brand new airplane, especially given the focus on customer experience and technology that is found on these modern airliners. Just before the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show I was among the select, honored passengers to fly on China Airlines’ beautiful new Airbus A350-900 XWB, or extra wide body. I can attest that I had pre-anticipated an amazing experience, and I have to say that I was even more impressed than what I expected! More importantly it also performed flawlessly throughout the 110-minute demonstration flight in the skies over Taipei. The goal of the flight was to show off the airlines’ first A350, which was delivered Oct. 1. The airline has a total of 20 of these remarkable airplanes on order. I’m a lifelong aviation enthusiast, pilot, certified technician, frequent flier and 30-year veteran of the airline industry. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I have spent a big chunk of my life strapped into an airplane seat. But I can honestly tell you that this flight was very special to me. For starters, it was a great honor for me to represent Honeywell Aerospace on this historic test flight, along with various dignitaries, news media representatives and airline business partners. In addition, I was extremely impressed by the aircraft itself, which sets impressive new standards for technology, fuel-efficiency, environmental performance and passenger experience. These attributes were underscored by the airline’s chairman, Ho Nuan-hsuan, who addressed the passengers over the public address system during the flight. He spoke from experience, having accompanied the aircraft on its flight from France to Taiwan. From the pilot’s perspective, the A350 cockpit provides on-board systems that are designed for maximum reliability, operability and simplicity, including the latest flight management system and environmental surveillance technologies from Honeywell Aerospace. From the passenger’s perspective, the 325-seat -900 model is the first to feature the “Airspace by Airbus” concept, which emphasizes comfort, service, ambience and design. I’ve flown on just about every airliner in existence and I don’t believe I’ve seen one that is more opulent and luxurious. In addition, China Airlines was a gracious host, showing us the kind of attention and service that passengers have come to expect from this flagship carrier. I am incredibly honored and humbled when I think about the role that innovative and hard-working Honeywell Aerospace employees in nearly every corner of the world played in creating this wonderful flying machine, working with our partners at China Airlines and Airbus. Honeywell is the world leader in developing and applying technologies that improve the safety, efficiency and comfort of commercial flight. We provide major systems to Airbus for the A350. Included are the flight management system that helps pilots fly the most efficient flight profile; air conditioning, ventilation and cabin pressure systems that keep passengers comfortable; flight safety systems that provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness; the auxiliary power unit that generates electricity to start the main engines and power onboard systems; and even more. On behalf of Honeywell employees in Taiwan, across the Asia Pacific region and around the world, I congratulate China Airlines on its new airplane and for the opportunity to support your efforts to provide a great passenger experience to your customers. And for the passengers that are fortunate to fly on this aircraft you will have a memory that you can share forever with your friend and family!