Emirates have floated the idea of completely replacing windows on its aircraft with virtual reality screens that mimic the outside world.
Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, stated to the BBC that it is an aim for Emirates to get rid of windows on all its aircraft. The airline believes it will make the planes lighter and faster, therefore expending less fuel.
Emirates has already introduced the virtual windows in the first-class cabin of its newest Boeing 777 aircraft. Passengers view images from outside projected onto the side of the cabin using fibre-optic cameras.
Aviation experts have expressed a number of opinions to the news. Some believe that a windowless plane will cause safety issues as onboard staff cannot physically see outside of the aircraft.
Others agree that it will make planes lighter and faster, and therefore more efficient, and argue that the onboard staff’s lack of view to the outside does not cause a problem.
Moreover, some state that passengers on long-haul flights may feel claustrophobic or otherwise psychologically confined without access to viewing outside.
In an industry dominated by operationally efficiency and the need to remain sustainable for the future, is this the right way forward?