Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) is considering moving its offices and aviation facilities within Australia and has invited expressions of interest from different states.

The Sydney-based carrier has launched a three-month review of the location of its key facilities as part of its recovery plan and efforts to reduce overheads in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the airline said in a statement, adding it flowed from 25% job cuts of corporate and head office employees.

Under review were its leased 49,000 square metre head office in Mascot, Sydney and Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine)'s leased head office in Collingwood, Melbourne. Aviation facilities that could be relocated included flight simulator centres in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Qantas’ heavy MRO base in Brisbane, particularly if there was an opportunity to bring some or all of these facilities together elsewhere in Australia.

There was no intention to move any facilities offshore, the airline said. Still, it was "keen to engage with state governments on any potential incentives that could sway its decision,” said Group Chief Financial Officer, Vanessa Hudson.

“Like most airlines, the ongoing impact of COVID means we’ll be a much smaller company for a while. We’re looking right across the organisation for efficiencies, including our AUD40 million Australian dollars (USD29 million) annual spend on leased office space."

She said Qantas and Jetstar head-offices could be consolidated to unlock economies of scale. “Most of our activities and facilities are anchored to the airports we fly to, but 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 (under construction) part of our thinking, given the opportunity this greenfield project represents.”

“This is about setting the Qantas Group up for the long term as well as recovering from the COVID crisis. We’re open-minded about the outcome. It’s possible that our HQ stays where it is, but becomes a lot smaller, and other facilities consolidate elsewhere. 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.”

Any relocations would be phased in over time, potentially years, Hudson said. However, in a first step, the airline would sublease about 25,000 square metres of surplus office space across Mascot, Melbourne and Hobart. A lease on a 230 square metre Sydney office, due to expire in October, would not be renewed.