In-flight Wi-Fi for Europe and the Middle East fails to meet passenger demand

Demand for in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity is found to be higher in Europe and the Middle East than the US

In-flight Wi-Fi connectivity has become an increasingly sought-after perk of air travel and, according to new research, demand is actually higher in Europe and the Middle East than in the US.

Some 80 per cent of air passengers in Europe and the Middle East would like to be able to use Wi-Fi on their flights, despite there being fewer connected aircraft operating in these regions, the research Aero communications firm Gogo found. 

Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief commercial officer, said: "There is a large discrepancy between the US and Europe and the Middle East in terms of the number of planes connected. In the US, it's becoming rare to fly without Wi-Fi. Outside the US it's very rare to board an aircraft that has Wi-Fi.

"Our global research shows that, despite a dearth of connected aircraft, the appetite for these services create a significant opportunity for the airlines in these markets."

Flexible working has been heavily cited as a way for companies to increase efficiency, and the uptick in demand for ubiquitous connectivity even when flying overseas possibly demonstrates the demand from professionals to be truly able to work from anywhere.

One fifth  of passengers (up from 16 per cent since Gogo's study a year previously) actively search for Wi-Fi when choosing an airline to fly with. So it appears to be in the best interest of more airlines operating in Europe and the Middle East to begin providing the service to travellers.

Research participants came from seven countries across two regions, and have all taken a round-trip in the past year.

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