Emirates unveiled a business suit where “virtual windows” are replacing real ones. Tim Clark, the company’s CEO, hopes their innovation will inspire plane manufacturers.

A cabin wearing no windows could lighten a plane up to 50%, on top of being more structurally sound. This would greatly reduce fuel consumption (1% weight reduction leads to a 0,75% save on fuel) and thus improve the ecological impact of air traffic. The windows would be replaced by screens streaming footage captured from the outside using fiber-optic cameras installed on the plane body.

Such innovation already exists on the new first class cabin of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER. As middle-suits of the aircraft are not connected to the side of the fuselage, they are fitted with virtual windows. CEO Tim Clark told BBC the footage was already "so good, it's better than with the natural eye".

However, the innovation is being questioned, as cabin crew needs to be able to evaluate external risk in case of an emergency exit. Claustrophobic might not find the idea very appealing either.

From there, the next to lose their windows could be the pilots. Back in 2014, Airbus received a U.S. patent for a "viewing surface" that would allow manufacturers to get rid of the cockpit, and redesign the tip of the aircraft to reduce the drag.