Ryanair today announced it had reached a framework agreement with German pilot union VC on wages and benefits in a breakthrough in its efforts to bring a year-old staff revolt to an end. 

VC was responsible for Ryanair's first ever pilot strike in December last year. 

Ryanair, which has faced a series of strikes across Europe this year, has said it hopes to come to agreements with unions in its main markets before the end of March. 

The four-year deal includes agreements on pay, pension, pilot allowances and annual leave and will be fleshed out in detailed documents to be signed by the end of February, Ryanair said. 

"While it is not a full CLA (collective labour agreement) yet, this is clear progress by Ryanair and the VC union, which has been one of the more troublesome unions to date," Goodbody airlines analyst Mark Simpson said in a note.

"Given the progress it looks as it fears over a German strike at Christmas are now unlikely," he said.

Meanwhile, the airline said its passenger numbers rose by grew 8% to 10.1 million in November from 9.3 million the same month last year.

Ryanair said its load factor - how many seats it fills on each flight - stood at 96% last month.