The threat of a strike by Virgin Atlantic pilots has receded after the company made a new pay offer, pilots’ union Balpa has said.

Balpa said it will be putting the new offer, which has not yet been disclosed, to its members in the coming weeks but in the meantime has lifted the strike threat. The news will come as a relief to holidaymakers who would have suffered disruption during the busy summer period.

Balpa general secretary Jim McAuslan said: “Pilots have never wished to inconvenience the travelling public, especially those looking forward to summer holidays. We have therefore lifted the threat of strike action.”

Pilots backed action last month by an overwhelming majority, with 97 per cent voting for a strike with a 94 per cent turnout. The last offer made by the company was a 4 per cent pay increase for this year, followed by 3 per cent in both 2011 and 2012. However, the union rejected this on the basis that it was less than inflation and that pilots had seen their pay frozen since 2008. It is understood that the new offer represents a further improvement on the figure.

Virgin’s captains are paid around £70,000 a year, while first officers receive a salary of £50,000. The proposed strike would have been the first for three decades.