I feel similar like the original poster. The air minigame is not very fun/interesting for me.
I can respect that my fighters are not fast or not strong enough (based one quipment stats etc) to shoot down an ufo, but to make it dependent on some form of arcade minigame, i simply dont like.
Thats why i dont play an real-time jump n run, but some round-based strategy title in the first place.
An "auto-resolve option" would be nice for ppl who simply dont enjoy that part.
There could be an option to "auto-resolve" integrated in the minigame start window (when its paused), so the player can chose to either control himself or let the pc do it without having another pop-up.
At this point for me a pop-up with the result of the auto-resolved battle would be enough, but of course it would be kind of cool to just watch the fight or jump in and take over control if the "auto-pilot" messes-up.
Probably takes too much effort - so a pop-up with the result is probably all you could ask for at this point of the development.
I think the possible combinations of enemies and player controlled vehicles is limited (3 on each side? with xy different ufos vehicles) and the aircraft weapons probably already have some stats etc.
Well, there is always hope this can be modded later?