Delta Airlines, the No. 2 carrier in the United States, has acquired a 4.17 percent stake in Grupo Aeromexico for $65 million as part of a long-term strategic alliance, the Mexican ariline said.

The deal, which was reached last year, covers nearly 30.2 million shares of Aeromexico and was approved by the Federal Competition Commission, or CFC, Grupo Aeromexico said in a statement.

Delta will get a seat on the board of Aeromexico, which is controlled by U.S. banking giant Citigroup - via its Banamex unit - and a group of Mexican investors.

"This is the first time a global carrier buys equity in a national Mexican airline. Both companies will share best practices in sales, operations, equipment maintenance and staff training, enabling them to offer customers the same travel experience on any of their flights," Delta Airlines said in a statement.

The two carriers have had a code-sharing agreement in place since 1994 as part of the Sky Team alliance.

"The carriers collectively offer 93 codeshare destinations that represent 733 daily flights in eight countries. They have also been working on improving and increasing flight schedules to respond to customers' needs in destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Miami, new daily service to Washington, DC from Mexico City and new flights to Atlanta coming soon," Delta Airlines said.

Aeromexico, which carried 14 million passengers in 2011, operates more than 450 daily flights to 42 domestic and 30 international destinations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Delta and Delta Connection offer service to 350 destinations in 65 countries around the world, serving more than 160 million passengers annually. EFE