Aer Lingus pilots will be “better off” if they agree to a new pay deal, their union has said.

Pilots in the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) are to be balloted on a 17.75% deal following a recommendation from the Labour Court aimed at resolving a long-running dispute with Aer Lingus over pay.

The pay rises come across a period of 2022-2026.

The developments were also welcomed by Taosieach Simon Harris (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ialpa suspended a work-to-rule which began at the end of June pending the outcome of the ballot.

Aer Lingus, which cancelled hundreds of flights during the dispute, welcomed a decision by Ialpa leadership to recommend the deal to its members.

The developments were also welcomed by Taosieach Simon Harris.

The pilots had initially sought a pay increase of 24%, which they said equated to inflation since the last pay rise in 2019.

Speaking on Thursday, Ialpa president Mark Tighe said: “It is not quite the inflation that we were discussing but we’re looking at, two years from now, pilots will be 19.2% better off than they were – which is someways towards inflation.”

He added: “We’re recommending it because we believe its a deal that the pilots can hopefully accept.”

Aer Lingus pilots march around Dublin Airport as they begin an eight-hour strike on June 29 (Evan Treacy/PA)

He told RTE’s Morning Ireland: “And we’ll move on, we’ve had a very successful time as a group of people demonstrating our unity and strength together – and that’s vitally important.”

Asked if the deal included any increased productivity measures for pilots, Mr Tighe said: “None at all.”

Further asked if he regretted the disruption to passengers during the industrial action, he said: “I most certainly did not want any inconvenience towards our passengers.

“I’ve said repeatedly how important they are to us as pilots but unfortunately management could have come to this a long time ago.

“The question should really be directed towards them.”