Recent news that Delta Air Lines ( DAL , quote ) is paying $100 million for a 3% stake in Brazilian discount carrier Gol ( GOL , quote ) demonstrates that the only place you can get growth in the air sector now is Latin America and Asia.
Delta understands this, which is why this deal is strategically important to them. They are not just buying a piece of Gol's growth but getting access to the ability to cross-book flights on its routes -- effectively, sealing a cross-hemispheric alliance.
GOL shares are loving this news, even though it will be dilutive down the road.
Both companies needed this. Gol will soon be competing with Latam Air, the merged entity created by Lan ( LFL , quote ) of Chile and Gol's arch-rival Tam ( TAM , quote ), and needs the global support to hold its own.
Latam Air will be the second-largest airline in the world and will dwarf everything else outside China, so Delta needs this deal, too.
At this point, all the major Latin airline stocks are in play, so the overlooked name in the group is airport management firm Copa ( CPA , quote ).
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