As always, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Gary Kelly and CFO Laura Wright had many things to say on their conference call Thursday covering the Q4 and full year 2010 earnings.

Some highlights:

Kelly on whether Southwest had tied its hands with its aggressive ad campaign criticizing fees that other airlines charge to change passenger tickets:

“If we were to now change and begin to charge changes fees, that runs the risk of destroying a lot of the good will and value that we’ve created with the ‘no bag fees.’ I’d rather have a customer than a bag fee, and we get a lot more money that way.”

Kelly, on whether he sees Southwest eventually adding a first-class cabin to win more business customers:

“No. I don’t see that.”

Wright, on the return of business travelers to the air:

“In the fourth quarter of 2010, we experienced an increase in the nominal full-fare passengers versus the third quarter. Normally you would expect a seasonal sequential decline moving into the fourth quarter. This suggests we’re finally seeing a rebound in our business travelers.”

Kelly, on whether Southwest would buy some airplane other than the Boeing 737 if Boeing doesn’t replace the current models with a more fuel-efficient version as Southwest has urged:

“It depends. If they told us that we’re not going to see a more fuel efficient 737 for another 20 years, that probably would cause us to do something. So we love the 737. We’d love for it to be more fuel efficient.”

Kelly, on whether Southwest can handle more than one fleet type:

“We are gaining a second fleet type of course with the Boeing 717 with the AirTran acquisition. … At some point we’ll have a different airplane. In other words, if Boeing comes forward with a replacement aircraft, it’s hard for us to fathom that it will be a 737-type rating. We have gotten our minds wrapped around the reality that at some point we will likely have another fleet type.

“So I think that’s the fundamental question that you’re asking is, are we up for that? And the answer is I think really answered by the AirTran acquisition is that yeah, we think we can manage multiple fleet types. We don’t want 10, but two or three I think we will be gearing ourselves up for that reality at some point.”

Kelly, on whether Southwest might want to fly “red eyes,” late-night flights, as AirTran Airways does:

“That’s something that I wouldn’t dismiss out of hand. There are operational challenges for us with the way we crew, with the way we maintain, with our current reservation system as a practical matter, but that’s something that I think we’ll want to continue to look at, because we do have a goal of increasing our aircraft utilization, and that might very well prove to be an option for us.

“My view and I think our team’s view has typically been that that’s very low-yield business, and in a $90 crude oil environment, it just doesn’t work. But we’ll certainly challenge that paradigm.”

Kelly, on Southwest’s profitable quarter and year:

“2010 proved to be a very satisfying year. It was an upbeat end to what I think most would agree has been a lost decade for the airline industry.”

Kelly, on whether other airlines should copy Southwest, bypass global distribution systems and sell directly to buyers:

“I think it is horribly complicated, terrifically expensive, and I think they should just continue to do what they’ve been doing all these years.”

Kelly, with a serious answer about whether other airlines should copy Southwest’s distribution model:

“I don’t know that I have an answer. We’ve obviously got a 40-year strategy. We know how it works. We’ve never really played any other game so I don’t really know off the top of my head exactly what it would take to change from that.”

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