Back to Squawk list
  • 34

Emirates' boss Tim Clark wants airliners without cabin windows

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. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Highflyer1950 18
You think the pax are unruly now, wait till you get 300+ booze filled pax in an aluminum tube where they can’t see out when it hits turbulence.......
Thats a terrible idea! I survived a commercial plane crash! 3 survivors. I have worked hard to fly again.
Take away my feeling of not going up in a tin can (not seeing there is an outside) I wouldn't be able to fly at all!
I can't be the only one! Bad idea!
David Cooper 12
I wonder how many engine fires/faults have been spotted through those windows allowing the crew to take action
FTA: "The portholes provide passengers with visual comfort and avoid a feeling of claustrophobia. They have no practical use..."

Ahhh. So Tim thinks providing visual comfort and claustrophia-avoidance are not practical uses of windows. Good to know, Tim...that I'll never be flying one of YOUR airlines.
Mike Monk 3
Nor will I!
Justin Zehr 1
Me neither!!!
50% weight savings?!? I doubt it. Cargo planes are lighter cause they have no seats. Most cargo planes are old passenger planes that have just had the windows blocked out, it's still the same airframe. By the time all these screens and the associated crap is installed it probably won't make any difference. Passengers need to see what's going on outside in the event of an emergency, this will never get approved anyway.
Mike Monk 6
It was interesting that in his interview with the BBC Tim Clark did not mention the passenger once other than to say “…the passenger will notice that there are no windows when boarding but will be surprised to be able to see outside when in the cabin”. Nothing was said about passenger response, whether positive or negative. For someone in the business of customer comfort this omission was a stark one.
As has been mentioned earlier that air rage is an increasing problem that is not being solved by limiting alcohol windows on aeroplanes will only make it worse.
Also, Mr Clark mentions less weight means higher speeds, less fuel consumption, longer ranges but aeroplanes are already flying long ranges which, again, promotes the potential for air rage.
But that said the extra weight capacity gained however much it might, or might not, be will not be used to reduce fares or improve passenger comfort; instead it will be used to carry heavier or more cargo thereby increasing the profit margin on a particular flight.
It is clear therefore that this will be a VERY bad thing for passengers it is without advantages except perhaps for the moaners, that are on most flights nowadays, that have to complain when the blinds are not lowered. Airlines used to provide blindfolds but as a cost cutting exercise this is no longer so.
chalet 7
Windowless aircraft is 50% (fifty) lighter? The guy is out of his cotton picking mind, where he got this stupid number, perhaps a 1% maybe 2% lighter alright. Go back to sleep Clark
David Aaron 1
Correct, The difference in empty weight between a 777-300 and a 777-300F is roughly 74,700lbs which is nowhere near 50% especially when the lack of seats, overheads/bins, galleys and other pax amenities are figured in.
My guess is that 50% was a typo as the weight savings would likely be closer to 5% if that.
efussander95 1
Your point is absolutely correct, but your facts are a little off. There is no such thing as a 777-300F. There is however a 777-F. Here is an excerpt from my comment below:

“[...] take the difference between the 777-200LR and the 777-F (which is based on the -200LR airframe). The freighter obviously has many structural differences, such as a strengthend floor, etc. However, even bearing that in mind, the freighter, which is manufactured without any windows (bar the cockpit windows and exit door portholes), is still only 1700 pounds lighter than the -200LR. The empty operating weight of the -200LR is 320,000 pounds, and the empty operating weight of the -F is 318,300 pounds. Like I said, I know this isn’t a black and white comparison, but it sure as heck is a long way off 50%.”
So in reality by the time all these screens and related infrastructure are installed it probably won't make a damn difference in weight. The screens will probably just say "image not available at this time" mostly anyway.
beilstwh 1
The re-enforcement to support the windows and the windows themselves add a lot of weight to the plane. The number is not pulled out of the sky. all freight companies already order planes without windows and they have real life examples of the weight and fuel savings.
efussander95 3
Look at my comment below for a real world example. Nowhere near 50% on any kind of plane that is currently available.
efussander95 4
A 777-200LR is 320,000 pounds. Taking windows out would not make it 160,000 pounds unless the aircraft was build with an entirely different material.
chalet 2
Cargo planes have no windows mainly because the manipulating of igloos, crates or whatever are not interrupted every time a corner of same hits a window frame causing damages, they need smooth wall surfaces.
ReverendLee -1
I think the weight savings are 50% of the weight of the window.

Existing is: window + structure = weight
Replacement is: weight/2
jwmson 9
Really dumb idea. He thinks like the "bargain" carriers, "The cattle must refrain from mooing."
There is a federal regulation requiring a "clean wing" for take-off, which means that no frost, ice or snow may be on the wing. Most companies comply with this reg by requiring a cockpit crew member to visually check the wings through a designated cabin window. I don't think the FAA will allow your airplanes into US airports with no windows Tim.
bbabis 1
Technology will overcome. Cameras will suffice and even be capable of zooming in for a better check.
That's what we need, more useless technology.
jcsjcs 3
On the positive side, you could dim the screens to allow the virtual window shades to remain up during the entire flight.
On the flip side I'm sure it won't be long until someone discovers that advertisement can be played on these screens as well.
"Please insert credit card to stop advertisements"
efussander95 3
I’d like to know how Tim Clark arrived at the 50% lighter figure. That seems absolutely absurd to me. I know this isn’t a black and white comparison, but take the difference between the 777-200LR and the 777-F (which is based on the -200LR airframe). The freighter obviously has many structural differences, such as a strengthend floor, etc. However, even bearing that in mind, the freighter, which is manufactured without any windows (bar the cockpit windows and exit door portholes), is still only 1700 pounds lighter than the -200LR. The empty operating weight of the -200LR is 320,000 pounds, and the empty operating weight of the -F is 318,300 pounds. Like I said, I know this isn’t a black and white comparison, but it sure as heck is a long way off 50%.
ReverendLee 1
jet4ang 2
These CEO's are so out of touch with humanity. They dream in dollars and that's probably what their wet dreams consist of also. Sorry, crap like this makes me want to puke!
Nigel Rigg 2
If they want to be really innovative why not have the entire side of the plane showing a digital image of the outside. Why restrict to a window. That would at least be a whole new experience.
ReverendLee 4
Then you run into the opposite problem of people (drunk people, crazy people) being afraid of falling out of the plane.

I think it would be awesome, but there are those people that cannot fly with the shades up. Sorry bastards.
This fills me with rage. 50% weight savings = 100% joke. Stuff the customers in a tin can, sit down and shut up, you'll know when we're there when the doors open again. The "virtual windows" are only in first class. Awful!
Pa Thomas 2
Old man yells at clouds. Closes windows.
bbabis 2
There is live view and of course, since it is a screen with video input, there can be recorded views. I can see the crew displaying clear bkue skys as they penetrate a nasty looking weather system. They could also show the plane flying through a flack field or under attack by enemy fighters as they enter turbulence. The possibilities are endless.
Bernie20910 3
There will be an extra charge to turn it on though.
bbabis 2
I would pay to once again see the gun camera clippings from 12 O’clock High that were played over and over again while “looking” out an airplane. I never missed an episode. I still watch occasionally on youtube.
Thomas Clark 1
PULL DOWN THE SHADES AND PRESS ON......Now what's your next problem!!!
paul trubits 1
Well, I am self loading cargo already.
pilotjag 1
Too bad someone else posted a similar article a week or two ago!
Tell him he's dreamin !!
Why not remove all infrastructure inside the cabin so they could jam more passengers in but standing room only and without windows what a wonderful joyful flight it would be NOT
beilstwh 2
an Irish bargain airlines has already submitted a design for having the passengers stand during the flight.
ToddBaldwin3 2
That would have been RyanAir, and it was just one of Michael O'Leary's PR stunts. He says outrageous things like that to get free press. Like his idea to get rid of the toilets, turn the toilets into pay toilets, provide in-flight porn to personal devices, etc.
Oh, I seemed to have misplaced my credit card, I guess I'll just crap in the aisle.
Anshuman Kail 1
What is he smoking. I want it too.... 😝😝😝
MBaitinger 2
Ask german green Party :D they know good stuff for smoking! But careful after one you are stupid already !
Mark Champe 1
Terrible idea. I for one love to look out the window at the amazing view at 7 miles up. So much so that I once got into a brief argument with a flight attendant when I opened my blind when we were flying over Greenland on a flight from SFO to Heathrow. “Please close that - people are trying to o sleep!” she whisper shouted. “But I want to see the Greenland ice sheet.” I responded. I avoided further conflict by using my blanket to block the light while I continued to take in the magnificent view. I truly hope this never happens.
I would have told her to f right off
Mark Champe 1
That’s why I hate the dimming windows on the 787.
Mike Monk 1
"Emirates' boss Tim Clark wants airliners without cabin windows"....but not passengers!
Wayne Fox 1
How will the PAX be able to tell crew when there are problems outside like a hole in the wing or engine cowlings flying off or little gremlins looking in ala Twilite Zone?
jcsjcs 1
If done right, they can still see it on the displayed image showing "exactly what is outside". Of course, when sitting over the wing, I'd probably change the view to an angle taken from 1A...
AWAAlum 1
My views on this subject remain the same as the earlier posting on 6/8/18 ... my eyes are already subjected to too much screen time. Please don't give me yet another option to make me more stupid.
bbabis 3
A valid point AWAAlum. I can see it now. A captive audience for non-stop advertisement. The view outside the cabin will be right back. First, a message from its sponsor, Damitol, a drug for you to take when you just can't take anymore!
AWAAlum 1
Can't help myself - every time I see your name I think "Rain Man".
bbabis 1
Never heard that before but, gotta go, 1 minute to Wapner!
Calvin Chan 1
this is stupid
Its called video cam views at every seat, from all angles ....
Bala Mudaliar 1
removing windows and placing screens wont that also increase the weight or same weight🤔. the screen sharpness looks good 👌.
Nigel Rigg 1
Not a chance I would fly with any airline where I can't get natural light or see properly out of the window. Looking out, forwards and backwards is a massive part of the enjoyment. Airlines need to stop telling passengers they're only interested in getting from A to B as cheaply as possible - they're starting to believe it!
Bernie20910 1
If you tell a lie often enough and loud enough, that's what eventually happens.
Mike Mohle 0
Talk about a great way to induce motion sickness in turbulence, BLAH!
When I travelled I never take a window seat. So what's the big yahoo about no windows. I just wanna get from A to B that's all. I'm not driving the plane.
He's apparently betting more people are like you than are like I. I will never fly in a windowless plane. Full stop.
I think its a good idea, most of my long haul flights are overnight anyway. The windows are supposedly the weakest part, so get rid of them.
beilstwh 0
This is a great idea. The digital screens showing what an external camera records would give the exact same image. If the plane is 50% lighter and cheaper to run then hopefully the tickets would get cheaper. Win/Win for everyone.
Ever been on a plane when they FAs announce that the video system isn't working so they won't be showing the movies, or whatever? Think that won't happen with video systems in windowless airplanes?
Nigel Rigg 3
But it doesn't show the exact same image. It's only Crystal clear when looking straight at it, depending on the viewing angle parts of the image won't be in focus. And for someone like me who wears reading glasses I would now need these to "look out of the window"!
jet4ang 1
In your wildest dreams! If the weight of an aircraft is 50% glass, then we're in serious trouble. Think about what you're saying man!
beilstwh 1
It's not the windows, it's the heavy support structures for each window where all the weight is.
AWAAlum 1
A quote from the article: A plane without a window is 50% lighter,
says Tim Clark.
Yeah, I'm sure they'll pass the savings on to you
bbabis 0
The idea has been around for a long time. Check a couple of other articles from 4 years ago.

Sure there are challenges to overcome but I think people will go for it.
D Edwards -1
Spent many, many hours flying around in military cargo planes with no windows. It is no big deal.
Mike Monk 2
You don't have to pay to fly in a military cargo plane!
Alan Hume -1
There's something else behind this and it's not about reducing aircraft weight (screens would weigh about the same as windows) or the chance of depressurisation (in all the billions of miles flown around the world, how often does that happen?), but more likely a money-saving option. Solid tubes would be cheaper to make than ones with holes in them, plus they can control the inside perception for pax so they can induce desired sleep patterns (like they do now by dialling down the temperature and the oxygen content).
Mike Monk 1
"There's something else behind this...."
How about this:
Airbus do not make a cargo version of the A380 and, as far as I am aware, have no intentions of doing so. If Tim Clarke had his way and was able to coax Airbus into this ridiculous proposal then Tim Clarke would have an airframe that could serve both functions; as a passenger aircraft and a cargo aircraft.
Joe West 1
"screens would weigh about the same as windows" --- the point is that the *surrounding supporting structure* would weight a lot, not the windows themselves.
Joe West -3
Actually sounds like a great idea, if indeed there is significant weight savings due to the support structure.

Only downside I see is that in a very rare emergency (say crash landing with total power loss), then perhaps the screens and/or cameras won't work, taking away valuable situational awareness for both passengers and crew trying to figure out which exits are safe to open.

However I think that's a sufficiently rare downside that the vast fuel savings (again, assuming that the 50% weight figure is true) would outweigh, if you'll pardon the pun.

(Other concerns, like motion sickness, I don't think would be a problem if the displays are real enough, which is sounds like they are, and inspecting an engine would be fine with cameras out there.)
Martin Cooper -4
This thought came about AFTER a passenger was almost VACUUMED out of one a few months ago. Why cut off your NOSE to spite your FACE?
jet4ang 1
First of all braintard, the passenger wasn't vacuumed out, rather pushed out by depressurization. Second, if this is your excuse for windowless aircraft, jump into a self driving car and let us know how you feel afterwards!
AWAAlum 1
A tad rude, don't you think?


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.