Dubai - Emirates is seriously thinking of operating airliners without cabin windows. Planes without portholes are coming soon, said President Tim Clark in an interview with the BBC.

A plane without a window is 50% lighter,
says Tim Clark, who believes it will save a lot of fuel. The airline boss wants cabin windows to be replaced by virtual windows, high-definition digital screens reproducing exactly the exterior landscape. The digital screens installed at the First Class cabins of the Emirates Boeing 777 provide images coming from cameras placed outside of the aircraft that film what the passenger normally sees on each side through the portholes.

The quality of the image is so good that it's even better than the naked eye,
says, Tim Clark.

For us, the goal is always to lighten the plane when we can. The portholes provide passengers with visual comfort and avoid a feeling of claustrophobia. They have no practical use,
argues the Gulf-based airline operator.

The aircraft without portholes already exist for freight companies. In addition to saving fuel, planes would be safer. Without a window, the risk of the glass breaking and resulting in depressurization is nil.