Unions at Aer Lingus have accepted a Labour Court recommendation which will see them get pay rises of 8.5% over 39 months.

SIPTU Organiser Neil McGowan confirmed that its 1,500 members in Dublin, Cork and Shannon had voted 53% to 47% in favour - but warned that today's ballot result was only the first step towards improving workers' conditions, and introducing a profit share scheme at the airline.

Mr McGowan noted that Aer Lingus was posting significant profits following restructuring programmes which had included sacrifices in cuts to pension benefits.

He said it was now time for members to be provided with their fair share of those significant profits.

IMPACT official Angela Kirk echoed the call for early discussions on a profit-sharing scheme.

The union, which represents cabin crew and middle managers, voted 95.6% in favour of the deal.

Craft workers belonging to SIPTU, Unite and the TEEU also accepted the Labour Court recommendation.

Pay for Aer Lingus pilots is negotiated through a separate process.

The 8.5% increase will be staged with the first 3% payment backdated to 1 April 2017, a 2.75% rise from 1 May 2018 and a further 2.75% from 1 June 2019.

The deal expires on 30 June 2020.

Aer Lingus welcomed the ballot result, describing it as an important landmark for the airline as the first such recommendation as a private company since its acquisition by IAG.