In November 2019, an Airbus A350 was forced to perform an emergency landing due to an engine shutdown. One of the pilots spilled a drink onto the middle console, where the engine start panel is located. Two months later, in January 2020, another A350 suffered from liquid damage.
On November 9, 2019, an Airbus A350-900 was on its way to Singapore when one of the pilots spilled tea onto the engine control panel. After approximately 60 minutes, the right engine shut down and the Asiana Airlines A350 was forced to land at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The pilots tried to restart the engine unsuccessfully, but managed a safe landing. Luckily, no one was injured.
Two months later, on January 21, another aircraft had to reset their flight plan. Similar to the earlier incident, one of the pilots spilled a drink, which led to problems with the right Rolls-Royce XWB engine. The Delta Air lines A350 had to divert to Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska.
The problem, which many pilots complained about, is that the A350 does not provide a good cupholder. There are two located inside the cockpit, but it is made for European size cups, not US size cups. Pilots cannot fit their cup in the holders properly.
Airbus made an amendment to the aircraft’s flight manual. On February 4, they defined the A350 cockpit as a liquid prohibited zone and the manual now provides instructions about which actions should be taken in case of a drink spillage.