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Dubai’s Emirates mulls windowless planes in the future

Dubai’s Emirates mulls windowless planes in the future

The airline has unveiled a new first class suite that features virtual windows

Dubai airline Emirates is mulling the possibility of introducing windowless planes in the future, its president Tim Clark has said.

The move will make planes lighter and faster, he told the BBC.

The airline has already unveiled a new first class suite on board its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that features virtual windows.

The virtual windows allow passengers to view images projected from outside the aircraft using fibre-optic cameras.

“The quality of the imagery is so good, it’s better than with the natural eye. [It’s] as if you were in the window seat,” he told the BBC.

“So can the new generation of aircraft be windowless with this technology? In my view there’s no reason why not.

“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” he said.

“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows. The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher,” he added.

Clark’s comments come even as Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international travellers, is currently feeling the pressure of higher oil prices.

The airline is facing a “double whammy” of rising oil prices and the strengthening dollar – to which the UAE dirham is pegged, Clark told reporters in Sydney earlier this week.

“We have a double whammy at the moment; strengthening dollar, strengthening fuel prices. Naturally, that is going to take a mathematical hit on the yields that we get out of our markets that are non-dollar denominated at the same time that we have fuel prices rising,” he said.

“Volatility rules. Who would have thought the dollar would be up where it is today at the time when fuel is up. Normally, they are in inverse relationship; as the dollar strengthens, fuel comes off, but this time, it’s twice [both], so it’s a new one.”

IATA downgraded its profit forecast for the aviation industry on Monday, citing higher oil and labour costs, but also said yields were expected to rise 3.2 per cent this year.

The international body cautioned that rising fares could hit demand growth.

Read more: Emirates grounds 20 planes; facing ‘double whammy’ – Tim Clark

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