Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) Chief Operating Officer Mike Rutter has confirmed the IAG International Airlines Group unit is considering entering the mainland Europe-US market.

Rutter, who made the comments during an interview with Ireland's Independent newspaper last week, also confirmed that Aer Lingus would add 700 jobs with the arrival of its new fleet of eight A321neo (LR)s, due between 2019 and 2020. The aircraft will be deployed on transatlantic services which at present, focus on connecting Dublin Int'l with various points across the United States and Canada. Additional US connectivity is offered from Shannon.

Rival carrier Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) has already rolled out transatlantic services from Dublin, Shannon, and Cork to corresponding points in the United States. The Scandinavian LCC is one of several US and European operators to have alluded to developing more transatlantic services connecting secondary European cities with the United States using A321neo(LR) as well as B737 MAX equipment. On the other side of the pond, jetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK) is expected to reach a decision on its proposed transatlantic services before year-end.