Flights will launch from Manchester Airport to Shanghai in March 2020, but will go via Helsinki.
Chinese carrier Juneyao Air has chosen the airport for its first ever UK service, which will operate three times a week with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan said: “This news underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting people and businesses across the North to the world’s most important markets.
“We have seen first-hand how new routes to high-growth economies can unlock significant trade, cultural and knowledge exchange opportunities and this will be no different.”
Flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
They will arrive into Manchester at 08.30 and depart for Shanghai at 10:00.
Juneyao Air is a private-owned carrier in mainland China.
Founded in September 2006, it now owns 72 Airbus A320s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.