Ryanair has signed an agreement with Italian union FIT CISL to recognise it as a union for cabin crew following the announcement that 600 flights were cancelled due to strikes.

The union will now join fellow union ANPAC and ANPAV as a joint negotiating body for directly employed cabin crew in Italy.

The joint negotiating committee of the combined unions will take effect from Tuesday (July 24) to commence negotiations on a collective labour agreement (CLA).

The contract agencies employing cabin crew operating on Ryanair aircraft in Italy, Crewlink and Workforce, have also signed recognition agreements today with FIT CISL, ANPAC, and ANPAV, and will join negotiations on a CLA.

Ryanair cancelled 600 flights scheduled for next week, which could affect up to 100,000 passengers on Wednesday and Thursday over a dispute with cabin crew in Europe, including walkouts in Belgium, Portugal and Spain.

It also announced that it would recognise German union Ver.di.

Ryanair’s chief people officer Eddie Wilson said: “We are pleased to sign this cabin crew recognition agreement today with FIT CISL in Italy. This is a further sign of the progress Ryanair is making with trade unions since our December 2017 decision to recognise unions, with over 66% of our cabin crew now covered by recognition agreements.

“We hope to announce further agreements over the coming weeks, in those countries where unions have approached these negotiations in a practical and positive manner. As this growing number of pilot and cabin crew recognition agreements confirms, we are making progress and confounding those sceptics who claimed that our December 2017 decision was not real or genuine.”