Qantas will keep its global headquarters in Sydney and its Jetstar hub in Melbourne after reviewing the cost of its facilities across Australia.
The review was tiggered by a $2.7 billion loss for 2019/20 due to border closures and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been speculation Qantas could move its head office to Queensland or a new location.
But the national carrier on Thursday said it would continue to have a “strong presence” in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, easing concerns in those states of possible job losses.
“Qantas has seen $11 billion in revenue evaporate because of state and federal travel restrictions,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.
“Under those circumstances, we had to look seriously at every part of our business and that’s why reviewing our property footprint became part of our recovery program.”
“Some of this has been about cost saving by rationalising office space and some is about unlocking the huge amount of future value that the Qantas Group will bring the local economy in the years ahead. We think that value deserves to be recognised.”
The Sydney global headquarter employs more than 3500 people and more than 750 work at the Jetstar HQ in Melbourne.
Qantas’ heavy maintenance facility will also remain in Brisbane but the city will lose some of this work to Singapore.
The airline will expand some activities in all three states, including line maintenance engineering in Melbourne.
And Sydney will become the launch city for non-stop flights to New York and London under Qantas’ Sunrise project and will host a new flight training centre from 2023.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said this signalled Sydney remained Australia’s business capital and “doorway to the world”.
The Qantas headquarter has been in Sydney since 1938. It moved from the CBD to its current Mascot headquarters in the 1990s where it secured greater floor space and be nearer Sydney’s international airport Kingsford Smith.
The Victorian government said Qantas’ decision on the Jetstar operations and engineering expansion will mean at least an extra 300 jobs and boost gross state output by about $140 million.
“Reviewing our property footprint became part of our recovery program,” CEO Alan Joyce said on Thursday.
“Ultimately, our recovery program is about putting us in a position to grow again, which is when the benefits to each state will really flow.”