Auckland Airport has launched year-round operations between Auckland, New Zealand and Shanghai, China, following the success of the seasonal service.
China Eastern Airlines started the' year-round service on 26 September, with four flights per week.
In addition, the airlines plan to increase to daily flights from January 2016.
China Eastern Airlines senior vice-president Liuwen Tian said: "The reinstatement of China Eastern Airlines' Shanghai-Auckland flights has been strongly supported by the New Zealand Government and by Auckland Airport.
"The launch of year-round flights on this route both enriches and improves our network in the Oceania region. The connection and convenience of our air network is further enhanced by China Eastern Airlines' Shanghai hub, which brings even more travel choices for passengers.
"The launch of regular China Eastern flights to New Zealand will further promote trade between China and New Zealand and improve the friendship of our people. It delivers greater cooperation and a more connected and dynamic relationship."
According to Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical commercial Norris Carter, China Eastern Airlines operated a seasonal service, of between four and seven flights per week, for the first time on the Auckland to Shanghai route from December 2014 to March this year.
The new service is expected to add 175,000 permanent seats on the route, contributing an estimated $212m to the New Zealand economy.
First phase of the works related to the expansion of the Auckland Airport, as part of the airport's 30-year vision are currently underway.
Image: The international terminal at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand. Photo: courtesy of Lee Kindness.