Aer Lingus is launching a direct route to Seattle from Dublin next year.

It’s the fifteenth route to North America operated by Aer Lingus, which is part of the IAG airline group that also includes British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.

Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh revealed the new route this morning.

Seattle – nicknamed the Emerald City – has been a likely destination for Aer Lingus given the strong business links between the northwest coast city and Ireland.

Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and Microsoft has its headquarters just outside the city. Microsoft has its European base in Ireland, while Amazon has a significant presence here.

Seattle is also home to Starbucks and massive manufacturing facilities of aircraft maker Boeing, which is now headquartered in Chicago

“We believe this service will offer great value choices to our guests and further enhance Ireland’s trade and business links with the US,” said Mr Kavanagh.

Aer Lingus will operate the service to Seattle from May 18 using an Airbus A330. It will fly four times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Fares to Seattle start from €259 each-way including taxes and charges, when booked as a return trip.

Last month, Aer Lingus announced the launch next year of a new route between Dublin and Philadelphia. The airline also recently launched a service between Dublin and Miami

The carrier has created 600 jobs in the past three years as it expanded its network in North America.

The airline’s continuing strategy is to cement the use of Dublin Airport as a primary European hub for traffic to North America.

Since it was acquired in 2015 by IAG, Aer Lingus has launched services to other US cities such as Hartford, Connecticut, and relaunched routes to Los Angeles and Newark.

Aer Lingus has identified up to 10 more US cities that could be served from Dublin with new long-range Airbus A321LR jets it will take delivery of between 2019 and 2020, according to IAG chief executive Willie Walsh.

Earlier this week, Mr Kavanagh namechecked cities such as Denver and Montreal in Canada that should be pitching for Aer Lingus routes