China Eastern will start year-round Auckland to Shanghai services at the end of September with return fares starting at under $600.
The airline will fly four times a week from September 26 in competition to Air New Zealand which flies daily on the route.
China Eastern's service will add an extra 100,000 seats per year on the Auckland-Shanghai route, providing a boost for New Zealand's second biggest tourist market.
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Shanghai-based China Eastern has a fleet of 500 aircraft and carries more than 80 million passengers a year over 350 destinations within China, as well as 40 international destinations. The airline is among the top five in the world by passenger volume.
The airline ran a seasonal service last summer but the launch of year-round services is part of a rapid growth in air links between China and New Zealand. Beijing-based-Air China plans daily direct flights from the Chinese capital to Auckland later this year as part of an alliance with Air New Zealand.
China Southern Airlines is also increasing frequency on its Auckland-Guangzhou service from August and is eyeing flights to Christchurch. Another Chinese carrier, Hainan Airlines, is also understood to be considering services to New Zealand.
China Eastern Airlines general manager for Oceania Kathy Zhang said the expansion of her airline's services was due to the strong demand.
"We have seen strong uptake of our fares to Auckland, as New Zealand continues to be a desirable destination for Chinese travellers," she said.
A limited number of special $588 fares are available. Standard Air New Zealand return fares between Auckland and Shanghai at the end of September start at around $1730.
China Eastern has an alliance with Qantas and the airlines are attempting to deepen that relationship.