Virgin Air to Offer Lynda Courses Free During Flights

(Photo: Creative Commons)

(Photo: Creative Commons)

Travelers flying with Virgin Airlines could soon be able to boost their business skills through course videos while flying to their next destination.

LinkedIn announced last week that it will partner with Richard Branson’s airline to allow passengers to stream video tutorials from Lynda, an online learning company that was purchased by the tech firm based in Mountain View, California for $1.5 billion in 2015. is the largest purchase LinkedIn has made to date and is part of the company’s effort to decrease the skills gap currently faced by workers worldwide.

The videos, which include courses about “Getting Things Done,” “Creating Great Workplace Habits,” and “Managing Stress,” will be available at not cost to passengers as part of the airline’s in-flight entertainment system in April.

“Our goal with is to make it easy for you to access learning content from whenever and wherever it is convenient for you,” Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s vice president of consumer products, wrote in a post about the partnership. “This is important because we know your time is important and whatever your professional goals may be, we want to give you a way to acquire the skills needed to achieve your goals at your own pace.”

The courses will be included on flights that offer ViaSat, the Wi-Fi technology necessary to watch high-definition videos while in-flight.  Lynda’s complete library, including thousands of videos, will be available for passengers to watch at no additional cost.  The financial terms of the partnership were not made public, writes Queenie Wong for The San Jose Mercury News.

Alex Kantrowitz for Buzzfeed reports that Richard Branson remains optimistic about the endeavor, saying that while some may simply watch the videos, he believes others will use the technology to learn as they fly.  “It will be fascinating to see what percentage of the plane tap into it,” he said.

However, some remain skeptical that the move will benefit LinkedIn in the long-run.  Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, said although he believes the site to the best job site in the world for recruiting qualified candidates, he does not see a connection between the site and education.  He went on to compare the move to Costco offering classes to its customers.

Investors have also been on the case of the social media company recently.  The stock took a dive in February after it reported a weaker forecast for this year.  Only one day later, LinkedIn’s stock went down by over 43%, which took away almost $11 billion of the company’s market value.

During a call to investors this month, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said the company would like to spend more time integrating the content offered on onto its website as well as into additional products.

There are currently more than 400 million members using LinkedIn in over 200 countries and territories.