Polish air traffic controllers have reached a deal with the government that means they will keep working until July 10, a union representative said on Thursday, averting mass flight cancellations.

Poland had been facing travel chaos from May 1, the day after the end of the notice period for air traffic controllers who chose to quit rather than accept new working regulations they said threatened safety.

"We have managed to reach an agreement," a union representative told a parliamentary commission. "We must realise that this is not the end of the battle."

Under the terms of the agreement, the air traffic controllers have their notice period extended to July 10, while the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) will start an organisational audit and restructuring. The parties will continue to discuss regulations regarding pay and work.

The Polish government had passed a decree that would have drastically cut the number of flights at Warsaw's two airports from May 1.

"I hope the effects of this decree will be withdrawn tomorrow," said Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk.

Airlines that would have been affected by the reduction in flights include LOT Polish Airlines, Wizz Air and Lufthansa, which all operate out of Chopin airport, and Ryanair, which flies out of Modlin.

The dispute centres on pay and proposed changes to working practices including an increase in the maximum number of hours air traffic controllers could work in a shift.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Pawel Florkiewicz Editing by Gareth Jones)