UPDATE 1-Panama's Copa Airlines pilots avert strike, reach deal with company

(Adds details on agreement)

PANAMA CITY, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Pilots at Panama's Copa Airlines called off a planned strike Thursday morning after reaching a deal with the company aimed at recovering purchasing power, the Panamanian Commercial Aviators Union (UNPAC) said.

The pilots union last month said it would launch the strike on Feb. 2 after an impasse, despite talks that had begun in October over new contracts.

The group said the deal, reached hours before the pilots were slated to walk out, includes benefits and other measures that will allow pilots to recoup purchasing power losses sustained during the pandemic.

Panama's labor ministry mediated talks between the airline and the union, and said the agreement "promotes the peaceful labor climate the country needs for its economic recovery."

UNPAC's negotiating committee in a statement called the talks "complex." It said the deal offered "a fair and sustainable collective agreement with better working and salary conditions," including benefits for pregnant pilots and pay hikes for Sunday and holiday shifts. (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Brendan O'Boyle; Editing by Daina Beth Solomon and Jonathan Oatis)