Aer Lingus have announced that from May 1st 2015 they will provide direct flights from Dublin to Washington DC, Dulles airport, four times a week.

The summer 2015 schedule will also provide further capacity on transatlantic routes to San Francisco, New York and Orlando and from Shannon to Boston.

The summer schedule includes a daily flight from Dublin to San Francisco, up from five weekly, and the addition of a third daily flight from Dublin to New York from June through August. There will be four flights to Orlando from Dublin per week from May 1 and a 20 percent increase in capacity on the Shannon to Boston route.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said “Today’s announcement by Aer Lingus is really great news for Irish tourism for 2015. The new flight from Washington DC and the increased capacity on other transatlantic routes will certainly help boost both leisure and business travel from the United States to the island of Ireland.

"As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism."

Aer Lingus announced operating profits of almost $141 million (€113m) for its last quarter . This is its strongest results since the financial crisis.

Momentum remains strong and bookings for summer 2014 are already 10 percent above the level of a year ago, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller said in an interview. The airline expects to add more long-haul capacity in 2016 with potential new destinations offered, he said.

Passenger from New York says her priceless engagement ring and invaluable family photographs were taken from carry on bag.Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland