The service will run three times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays just in time for Christmas.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport said: “I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai.
“Connections to China and other non-European countries will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain as we become more reliant on them to generate vital growth through trade and by exploiting the other business opportunities that they provide.”
China Eastern also runs a daily service from London Heathrow to Shanghai.
China Southern announced flights between London and Wuhan with another service between London and Sanya, on the island of Hainan, announced shortly after.
Speaking of this service, Andrew Ould, British Deputy Consul-General in Guangzhou, said: “I believe that the launch of the direct flight between Sanya and London will help attract more visitors from the UK to spend their holidays in Sanya and UK-based companies to invest and establish facilities in the city.”
Shenzhen Airlines will also be launching a new service between Shenzhen Bao’an Airport to London Heathrow from late October this year.
It will operate on a similar timetable to the newly announced China Eastern service.