The South Island could get a $100 million boost to its economy, with the announcement of direct, year round flights between Christchurch and China.
China Southern Airlines will begin flying direct from Guangzhou to the city from December.
Christchurch Airport chief executive Malcolm Johns said the new service was worth an estimated $100 million in visitor spending for the whole economy.
He said Chinese travellers were very familiar with images of South Island scenery and were keen to come see it in person.
Mr Johns said the service was needed as Chinese passengers arriving at Christchurch Airport increased 59 percent from December to February.