Strikes planned by British Airways cabin crew that threatened to seriously disrupt air passengers over the holiday period have been suspended.

The Unite union announced the suspension of the industrial action which would have seen 4,500 staff walk out over pay and conditions on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The dispute centred on union claims that workers who joined since 2010 were paid less than other staff. But talks at the arbitration service Acas will mean a new offer will be put to a ballot of union members.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Over the past four days, and indeed the past two years, this union has worked tirelessly to find a resolution to the issues causing our members concern.

"We now have a new offer from the company, which we will put to our members. The two-day strike over Christmas and Boxing Day is now suspended.

"It will be for our members now to decide if British Airways has done enough to meet their concerns," the Press Association reported.

"I want to pay tribute to our cabin crew members who have been determined to achieve a negotiated settlement. Their commitment to secure a better deal for all of their colleagues is something we should all admire."