CHICAGO (Reuters) -American Airlines has offered its flights attendants immediate wage increases of 17% and a new formula for higher profit sharing in 2024 in their new contracts, CEO Robert Isom said on Wednesday.

In a message to the company's flights attendants, Isom said while progress has been made in contract negotiations, there is "still a good deal of work to be done."

The current round of negotiations started in January 2020 but was paused at the height of the pandemic. Talks resumed in June 2021.

"We are committed to reaching a new agreement and now is the time to make a deal," Isom said.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents over 23,000 American flight attendants, has asked its workers to prepare for a strike after the negotiations last month failed to produce an agreement.

American's flight attendants say they have not had a pay raise in over five years and have asked for an immediate raise of about 33%. Union officials say flight attendants have endured a lot since the pandemic, notably unruly passengers resisting the controversial mask mandate on planes.

The two sides are due to resume the negotiations next week. The APFA has requested a release from federally mediated negotiations, saying American's offers "continue to fall far short of addressing the current economic environment."

"It is way past time for management to acknowledge our contributions to the airline, address the new industry standard, and compensate us fairly," said Julie Hedrick, head of American's flight attendants union. "We are neither backing down nor settling for less than we've earned."

Lawmakers in the U.S. have urged the National Mediation Board to take steps to help about 80,000 flight attendants reach new contract deals.

Flight attendants at United Airlines, Alaska Air group and Frontier also are negotiating new contract deals.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by David Gregorio)

By Rajesh Kumar Singh