Air Canada has announced plans for direct services between Dublin and Montreal and Shannon and Toronto, beginning in June 2018.

It represents the airline's first direct connection with Shannon Airport and its third from Dublin Airport, with both services set to operate four times a week.

Air Canada also runs a seasonal service between Dublin and Vancouver, which will expand to five days a week from next year.

Its Dublin-Toronto connection is also set to expand to a four-day-a-week service, while offering daily flights during the summer.

The service is also due to move from Air Canada's subsidiary carrier - Air Canada Rouge - to its main brand, which will involve a switch to a larger aircraft.

"We are delighted that Ireland will be one of the first routes to experience our new aircraft," said Benjamin Smith, President Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

"Last year, Canada delivered a record 203,000 visitors to the island of Ireland, an increase of 11% on the previous year. In fact, visitor numbers from Canada have grown by almost 28% since 2014," said Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons.

"Canadian visitors tend to stay longer and explore more extensively around the island than the average visitor, sampling our unique holiday experiences."