NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

is spending $100 million to take a minority stake in Brazil's second largest airline

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes

(GOL) - Get Report

, in a move that shows some U.S. carriers will continue to expand aggressively while

American Airlines

(AMR)

remains hamstrung after falling into bankruptcy.

As part of the minority investment, Delta will take a 3% stake in Gol Linhas by buying up its American depository receipt shares and will also begin a partnership arrangement that will allow both companies to book passengers on each other's planes.

The move will also pump nearly $160 million in capital to the Brazilian airline, which has seen its shares fall over 40% year-to-date.

For Delta, which is behind American Airlines and

United Continental

(UAL) - Get Report

in Latin America, the deal is a further push to gain ground against its hobbled competitor after taking a stake in Aeromexico for $65 million in August. Both deals also give Delta, the world's second largest airline, board seats.

Delta shares traded at $8.50 and were little changed in afternoon trading. The company's stock has fallen over 30% year-to-date as fuel costs and fears over consumer spending threaten earnings. The company saw profits jump 51% to $550 million in its most recent quarter, however its still to be seen whether Delta will meet estimates of $646 million in 2011 earnings and nearly $2 billion in 2012 earnings, according to seven analysts polled by

Bloomberg

.

While Delta's Gol Linhas stake is a way to tap into the fast-growing Brazilian economy, the Atlanta-based company won't add Gol to its SkyTeam marketing alliance, which includes carriers like

AeroMexico

,

Air France

,

China Eastern Arilines

(CEA) - Get Report

,

KLM

and

Korean Air

, among others around the world.

In Brazil, Gol Linhas is second to

TAM

(TAM)

, which was bought by Chile's

Lan Airlines

(LFL)

, the largest carrier in Latin America, for $3.3 billion in 2010.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York