The majority of passengers now see inflight connectivity as a necessity according to a new survey published by Inmarsat. The annual Inflight Connectivity Survey says that the majority of global passengers (60 percent) now see inflight connectivity as a necessity, not a luxury.

The results come as the European Aviation Network prepares for roll out with launch airline partner IAG Group and its airlines British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling. Aircraft are in the process of being fitted out ready for launch in the second half of 2017 with the aim of  having 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

The global survey reveals that 60 percent of passengers believe in-flight connectivity is a necessity not a luxury and 66 percent of parents travelling with children said that inflight connectivity is a “life saver”.

For UK passengers,  74 percent of British passengers claim they would pay for inflight connectivity even on short haul leisure flights, 80 percent would pay for inflight connectivity on medium haul flights, rising to 82% for long haul flights.

A third of British respondents (33 percent) who have used inflight Wi-Fi said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption.

The ability to connect to personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets now sits within the top three considerations when choosing an airline, behind ticket price (53%) and flight slots (44%) for 40% of passengers who have used inflight Wi-Fi.

The survey reflects the responses of 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America, and is the largest global passenger survey of its kind.