Qantas to undertake nationwide property review to cut costs

Qantas is reviewing its entire property portfolio as the nation’s largest airline works to cut down on overhead costs amid crippling COVID-19 restrictions.

Currently the airline operates facilities in multiple states – such as flight simulators and head offices in Sydney, Jetstar administrative spaces in Melbourne, and heavy maintenance spaces in Brisbane.

To minimise some $40 million spent annually on leased office spaces, the airline said it is currently investigating solutions to move all of its office and maintenance facilities into a single state.

Qantas dreamliner plane
Qantas’ profit plunged during COVID-19, forcing the airline to pivot and budget heavily. (Qantas)

Qantas said there is no intention to move any of its current Australian offices offshore and the property review does not add to the number of job losses announced earlier this year.

« Like most airlines, the ongoing impact of COVID means we’ll be a much smaller company for a while, » Qantas’ Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson said.

« We’re looking right across the organisation for efficiencies, including our $40 million annual spend on leased office space.

The airline leases $40 million worth of office space every year. (Getty)

« As well as simply rightsizing the amount of space we have, there are opportunities to consolidate some facilities and unlock economies of scale. »

Ms Hudson hinted that the new Western Sydney Airport will be factored into the Group’s plans, as well as the potential for a single « all-purpose » Qantas campus.

« 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, » Ms Hudson said.

Qantas currently operates a number of different offices around the country. (Jason South / SMH)

« We’ll also be making the new Western Sydney Airport 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. And we’re open minded about the outcome. »

Currently the Qantas Group’s head office is a 49,000 square metre property that it is leasing in Mascot.

To assist with the first phase of consolidation, Colliers International has been appointed to sublease about 25,000 square metres of surplus office space across Mascot, Melbourne CBD and Hobart.

Qantas in its heyday. (Supplied)

A lease on a 230 square metre Sydney CBD office that is due to expire in October will not be renewed.

When it was established in 1920, all of Qantas’ operations were run out of Winton, Queensland.

Ten years later, as the airline grew, Qantas moved to Brisbane.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1938, Qantas moved to Sydney’s CBD.

In the 1990s it shifted south to Mascot, where it could offer greater floor space and a closer proximity to Sydney’s international airport Kingsford Smith.

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