Qantas has announced it may consider moving its headquarters out of the Sydney suburb of Mascot, in a bid to reduce millions in office rental expenses.
The airline, which moved to its current Mascot offices in the 1990s, could consider bringing some or all of the facilities together in an effort to reduce the current $40 million spent on their 49,000sq m of office space in Sydney.
Jetstar’s head office is based in Collingwood, while the airline’s heavy maintenance facilities are set up in Brisbane.
In a statement, the airline’s chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson said COVID-19 meant Qantas will be a much smaller company “for a while”, and had to look across the organisation for any “efficiencies”.
“There are opportunities to consolidate some facilities and unlock economies of scale,” Ms Hudson said.
“For instance, we could co-locate the Qantas and Jetstar head offices in a single place rather than splitting them across Sydney and Melbourne.
“Anything that can reasonably move without impacting our operations or customers is on the table as part of this review. We’ll also be making the new Western Sydney Airport part of our thinking, given the opportunity this greenfield project represents.”
Premier Daniel Andrews told media on Tuesday that he had a conversation with the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce, saying there could be “substantial prospects” for Melbourne if Qantas were to move their headquarters interstate.
“The process that they have announced today … is one that we welcome,” he explained.
“We think that we have a very attractive offer to make and we’ll work through that to try and have as many jobs as we possibly can in our city and state and it was a very, very productive discussion last night.”
While Mr Andrews didn’t reveal any details of the conversation with Mr Joyce, he said the airline had “heavy maintenance jobs” and “head office jobs … essentially up for grabs”.
“We’ll be working very hard to make sure that Victoria puts a high-quality bid,” he said.
“We have Avalon Airport with enormous amounts of space. We have Melbourne airport, the largest curfew-free airport in the country.
“We have undeniable strengths when it comes to engineering and technical capacity, and a training system to continue to push those people through and make sure that we’ve got the very best of skills. We’ve got a very attractive offer to make.”
While it may be possible for Qantas to keep their headquarters at Mascot, Ms Hudson said the campus could look at bringing many parts of the group together under one roof.
“It’s possible that our HQ stays where it is but becomes a lot smaller, and other facilities consolidate elsewhere,” Ms Hudson said.
“Or we could wind up with a single, all-purpose campus that brings together many different parts of the Group. These are all options we need to consider as we look to the future.
“The Qantas Group will remain one of the country’s largest employers and a major generator of economic activity.
“So we’re keen to engage with state governments on any potential incentives as part of our decision making.”