updated 9/1/2009 6:20:14 PM ET 2009-09-01T22:20:14

Southwest Airlines will temporarily halt flights on three routes early next year as it deals with a decline in air traffic and tries to bend its schedule to fit seasonal demand.

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The airline published a new schedule Tuesday that covers flights from next Jan. 9 to March 12.

The airline will cut one flight per day on 92 routes and increase service on 42 routes, usually by one trip per day as well.

Southwest also will suspend service between Albuquerque, N.M., and Portland, Ore.; and between Manchester, N.H., and Phoenix, with flights resuming in February. Flights between Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle will stop in January and resume in May, according to the airline.

Chief scheduler Bill Owen said Southwest is adjusting for seasonal travel patterns — the Pacific Northwest routes are stronger in summer, he said — and bolstering service in cities where Southwest has recently started service.

Southwest will add nonstop service from St. Louis to Boston and Minneapolis in January. Southwest began service in Boston and Minneapolis this year.

Dallas-based Southwest, the nation's largest discount carrier, operates about 3,300 flights per day.

Southwest has grown rapidly through most of its 38-year history, but traffic fell 2.2 percent in the first half of this year. While adding service to four new cities in 2009, the airline expects to operate about 6 percent fewer flights this year than in 2008.

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