Passengers hoping to pick up a few handy phrases for their trip, or to brush up their language skills, can now enjoy language lessons for free via IFE on Emirates flights. These lessons are spoken in English, Arabic, Mandarin, German and Spanish so that passengers across the Middle East, China and Europe can learn new languages in their own mother tongue. The service is the result of a deal between Emirates and UK-based language-learning company, uTalk.
Announcing the deal, uTalk sales director Brett Savidge said, “Our aim is to help passengers learn some essential words and phrases before they land, which will help them communicate with business colleagues, family and friends.”
In May, uTalk unveiled the first phase of its ‘Learn As You Fly’ scheme, offering English-speaking Emirates passengers lessons in 15 different languages on board. This latest rollout – phase two adds the option for international travelers to choose German, Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin as their ‘source language’ to learn dozens of other languages on board.
The timing of the deal is also intended to benefit passengers flying home for Christmas, as well as regular flyers on business trips.
As Savidge added, “In our modern, fast-paced world, millions of us want to spend our time more efficiently and productively, which is why starting to learn a language at the same time as you fly to your chosen business or holiday destination nowadays makes perfect sense to passengers.
uTalk language lessons are also available on selected easyJet flights, which it is currently trialling on five of its Swiss-based aircraft. Passengers will be able to start learning their chosen language by logging on to the plane’s wi-fi, then using their own personal electronic device to tune into free uTalk lessons.
Other airlines have also expressed an interest in buying into the smart technology and are in talks with uTalk, according to the company.
“I can say there has been considerable interest in our language offer from other airlines,” stated Savidge.