Delta Air Lines Inc. will invest $450 million to take a 3.6 percent stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp., expanding a partnership to allow the carriers to better compete on routes between the U.S. and China.

Delta, the world’s third-biggest airline, has longstanding ambitions to grow in China, where it trails the leading U.S. carrier into that country, United Continental Holdings Inc.

Earlier this year Delta and China Eastern, fellow members of the Skyteam airline alliance, deepened their ties when Delta said it would move operations at the Shanghai-Pudong International Airport in order to share a terminal with China Eastern. The shift is expected to allow travelers to connect more easily between the two carriers.

China Eastern, along with its Shanghai Airlines unit, and Delta operate codeshares on 30 domestic routes in the U.S., 43 routes in China and seven trans-Pacific routes between the two countries, according to statement Monday. Delta serves the three largest cities in China with six daily non-stop flights from the U.S.

This article was written by Michael Sasso from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: A China Eastern plane approaching Los Angeles International Airport. Aero Icarus / Flickr