MANCHESTER, N.H.(AP) – Southwest Airlines will eliminate nearly 200 flights a day early next year because of high fuel costs and the economy. Three flights a day are being cut from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

The cuts take effect January 11th, and will include Manchester flights serving Baltimore, Orlando and Chicago.

Southwest says some eliminated flights could be restored later in 2009.

Deputy Airport Director Brian O’Neill says losing even three flights a day is a big concern because the number of travelers using Manchester continues to grow.

. He says the cuts mean remaining flights will have to take on more passengers, so flight cancellations caused by weather or equipment problems could strand passengers much longer, until other seats become available.

O’Neill says the airport is working to show airlines that business continues to grow, so flights should not be cut.

AP-ES-08-26-08 1157EDT

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