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Aer Lingus
(Flickr Photo / DC_Spotter)

The Emerald Isle and the Emerald City are already connected by business interests, with multiple tech companies including Amazon and Microsoft operating in Ireland. Now the cities of Dublin and Seattle will be connected via a new direct flight being operated by Aer Lingus, starting on Friday.

Aer Lingus already flies to nearly a dozen U.S. cities., but the direct foreign investment agency IDA Ireland touted the new route to Seattle as especially important to more than 20 tech companies with headquarters in the Pacific Northwest.

Amazon employs more than 2,000 people in Ireland at operations hubs in Dublin and Cork. The country is the technical hub for Amazon in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Microsoft established its first Irish operation in 1985 and now employs 1,800 people in the country, according to IDA Ireland.

Other Seattle based companies doing business in Ireland include Tableau Software, which opened an office in 2013 and employs 60 people, primarily in tech support and finance; Cascade Designs, which set up European headquarters in Midleton, Co Cork in 1986; and Itron Inc., which established a Global Business Service Centre in Cork in 2014 and has since grown to approximately 100 employees.

“Ireland is an important market for us and we are delighted to be growing our team and operations here in Dublin,” said Eugene Hillery, director of international operations for Tableau, in a news release.

The airline posted about the new route on its website under the banner “Seamless to Seattle,” and said that the city “sits pretty between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the Pacific Northwest,” adding that must-see sights include the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Museum of Pop Culture.

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