Survey: strong demand in Middle East for in-flight Wi-Fi

Passengers inflight wifi needs are similar to home.
Strong demand in Middle East for inflight wifi
Strong demand in Middle East for inflight wifi

A new survey released by Honeywell Aerospace shows that Middle Eastern passengers expect to stay connected in the air with fast and consistent inflight wifi.

  • 76% of all survey respondents view in-flight connectivity as important or vital
  • 68% believe that staying online is a must for business travel to work and stay connected to colleagues
  • 70% would consider purchasing Wi-Fi on board when flying long haul

The Middle East, especially those countries with hub international airports, is quickly becoming a growing center for regional and international travel and has led the way in the early adoption of existing technologies for connectivity.

Although Wi-Fi is still a flourishing amenity on many flights, the Honeywell survey also revealed that 76 percent of respondents view access to in-flight connectivity as a vital or important service for business or leisure use.

Middle East passengers are choosing to spend their in-flight hours reading business and leisure email, accessing social networks and watching television rather than sleeping.

More than half of respondents want to access Wi-Fi for business reasons, and the high number of overall respondents rating Wi-Fi as important or vital indicates that passengers may select an airline based on the availability of in-flight connectivity.

The survey results point toward the continued emergence of the Middle East as a destination to conduct business. The interest in such a service also suggests that passengers are focused on making time spent in the cabin as productive and efficient as possible.

“The Middle East aerospace industry is experiencing rapid expansion, and technology, and innovation is vital for meeting passenger demand. With people wanting to stay online when flying and with faster connectivity on personal devices, we are seeing a growing trend toward the cabin always being connected,” said Aileen McDowall, vice president, Air Transport and Regional EMEAI, Honeywell Aerospace.

“Our survey results show that passengers may take the availability of in-flight broadband into account when selecting an airline, and indicate that cabin connectivity could be a major service differentiator and value-added revenue stream for the region’s airlines in the coming years.”

The research, conducted online, surveyed more than 1,300 adults across the Middle East and revealed that passengers’ online requirements are similar in the sky to that at home, indicating a shift toward always being connected.

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