Ryanair has today signed a deal to allow cabin crew in Italy to negotiate on issues such as pay.

This is the first non-pilot agreement it has struck since deciding to recognise trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history. 

Europe's biggest budget airline averted widespread strikes before last Christmas with a last-minute change of heart on union recognition, but has since struggled to reach agreement on terms in some countries. 

It has found most success in Italy and followed up a deal in March to recognise pilots by signing its first crew union recognition agreement with the ANPAC and ANPAV unions, which it said made up around 20% of its total cabin crew. 

"We are making good progress with other cabin crew unions across Europe and we hope to sign more recognition agreements with both pilot and cabin crew unions in the coming weeks," Ryanair's Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said in a statement. 

Eddie Wilson said the deal further demonstrates Ryanair's progress on recognising and negotiating with unions across Europe for its staff.

Spanish pilots' union SEPLA broke off its recognition talks last month while the airline has experienced minor disruption in Portugal due to industrial action and faces a threat of strike action in its home market of Ireland. 

The union representing Ryanair pilots in Britain, the only other market where a recognition deal has been struck, also threatened possible strike action last week unless the company implements a transparent system to manage promotions and transfers. 

The airline operates in 37 countries.