After 40 years of flying nearly identical jets, Southwest Airlines is preparing to make a dramatic change to its business model by acquiring planes both larger and smaller than its current fleet of Boeing 737s. "There's sort of a jump to the conclusion that that means significantly additional complexity," says CEO Gary Kelly. "We don't see that at all." With the 175-seat Boeing 737-800, Southwest could serve more distant markets such as South America and Hawaii, while the smaller 717s currently flown by AirTran are better suited to small domestic markets.

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