Ryanair today confirmed the clinching of a deal to head off possible strikes by cabin crew in Italy.

The Irish low cost carrier agreed a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) with the three main cabin staff unions to cover all its crew based in Italy from October 1.

The three-year agreement includes a pay rise, immediate access to Italian benefits such as maternity and paternity leave and the introduction of a pension scheme.

Ryanair now hopes to persuade unions in Germany, Portugal and Spain to follow suit.

The airline’s chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, said: “We have signed a CLA with the three Italian cabin crew unions, which will cover all of our Italian based cabin crew, will lead to significant pay improvements and other benefits for our Italian based cabin crew, and will start from next month.

“This follows recent cabin crew agreements in Ireland with Forsa and in the UK with Unite.”

He added: “This is a further sign of the significant progress Ryanair is making in reaching agreements with our people and their unions in different EU countries, and disproves false claims made by smaller unions not involved in these negotiations, and who are threatening strikes, which will either not take place or be unsuccessful.

“We have again invited our German, Portuguese and Spanish unions to meet with us so that we can negotiate and hopefully agree similar CLAs in these other larger markets.”