The Long-Term Objective in PrintING

I don't think anybody will say that being in the airline business is fun these days. With the COVID-19, a vast number of planes are grounded due to extremely low demand. The COVID-19 has hit every industry and, of course, also the printing industry. Airplanes are expensive and labor-intensive, so when demand decreases as radical as during the pandemic, this influences the global economy and the local supply-chain. Lower demand, fewer people employed. This, you know, of course.

I have in previous articles written about how Airbus annually delivers a ten years forecast. The forecast is using many different parameters to predict demand for planes. Before the COVID-19, the trend was a forever upgoing graph delivering optimism and trust in the future. COVID-19 has changed this dramatically, and the major plane manufacturers like Bombardier, Boeing, Airbus, and others will most likely suffer from low demand in a long period to come. Airbus will, of course, need to update its ten-years forecast.

September 21st, 2020 - just a few days ago, Airbus made a tremendously bold public statement about the company's future. In a video-conference (obviously), they announced three new planes to be commercially available in 2035. The three planes are very different from the ones you know- they are all fueled on Hydrogen. The promise is to deliver zero-emission planes within fifteen years. This is BIG news and extremely bold. It shows dedication, leadership, commitment, and responsibility - and all of this is despite the current situation.

I have two reasons why I find this particularly interesting. For one, Airbus and the airline industry is in a crisis that is maybe 'worse' than the one we see in the printing industry? And second; Despite this fact, they have set an agenda for where they will move the company over a 15-years commitment.

Maybe the printing industry should define a long-term goal? A goal that can help owners, shareholders, boards to set goals to drive our industry. I believe that many vendors already have long-term plans, and from that perspective don't differ much from Airbus. However, Airbus is effectively part of a duopoly, and therefore, their objectives will set a standard for the entire airplane industry. To deliver zero-emission planes, Boeing can't continue delivering fossil-based planes. They will need to take up the competition.

As an industry, can we redefine ourselves and create a long-term objective, and do you believe it could be valuable?

Well - when a company like Airbus can, the printing industry, of course, should be able to do as well—just wondering who are up for this, if it's a good idea?