Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the number of flights between China and New Zealand could triple under an agreement reached by the two countries.
The new arrangement will allow up to 42 return flights a week split evenly between the countries.
The airlines will also be able to fly to three more third-country airports en-route between New Zealand and China or beyond.
Mr Brownlee says China is forecast to become New Zealand's second largest source of visitors after Australia within the next few years.
He says the new arrangement is a positive step for tourism.