Personally I love the air combat. While I understand the criticism it receives for being reflex based in a turn based tactical defence sim, I enjoy the change of pace it provides you from the slow, tense ground missions and it really does a good job of imparting a feeling of pressure that let's you lose yourself in these dogfights. At least the auto-resolve system allows players to bypass it entirely, even if it doesn't provide any real satisfaction comparatively.
I picked this game up years ago and flirted with it here and there before falling in love with it in late 2018. I was really surprised to see the problems people had with the air combat, and I was disappointed to hear it wouldn't be returning for X2. Obviously now it's being looked at (great idea for the turn based system there Chris to be fair. Sounds a lot like FTL.), excited to see what you decide at any rate my man.