Panama City (AFP)

Pilots for Panama's flagship airline Copa have called off a threatened strike for Thursday that could have disrupted many flights and connections in Central America, according to Panama's labor ministry.

After lengthy negotiations, the pilots and the company reached "a satisfactory agreement" over pay demands, suspending the call for the indefinite stoppage, the ministry said in a statement.

Panama is a major Latin American hub thanks to Copa, and a strike by its pilots would have thrown travel plans for thousands of passengers into disarray.

Some American and European airlines rely on Copa code-shares to carry their passengers to and from destinations in Central and South America.

UNPAC represents 1,600 pilots, two-thirds of whom work for Copa.

It had demanded a 36-percent pay rise for the pilots. The airline had initially offered just 10 percent.

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