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Air Canada’s strategy to branch out into discount international service to and from Vancouver to Asia has stalled after the airline suspended talks for a joint venture with Virgin Group to launch Pacific flights. After months of studying and planning, it has opted to shelve the initiative — code named Virgin Pacific — amid concerns about whether the timing is right to strengthen Pacific routes.

Air Canada would have owned a 40-per-cent stake, Virgin Group 40 per cent and an undisclosed financial partner 20 per cent. Air Canada already has its hands full with its own proposal to start an international low-cost division next year that will target European and sun destinations.