Sony’s rare PlayStation 5 is being flown to the UK in droves with the help of Korean Air. The highly in-demand console has been out of stock everywhere, but is top of the wish list for many Christmas presents. To save Christmas, Sony has chartered several flights using Korean’s 747 freighters to get the PS5s to London in time.
Santa charters for Sony
Christmas is coming (sorry) and with the warnings of shortages of high-demand goods ringing in their ears, many British families are looking to secure their top-tier presents in good time this year. One such top present is the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5), which has been notoriously difficult to get hold of all year, let alone in time for Christmas.
The PS5 has been incredibly rare in the UK since its launch, with some being sold on eBay for £1,000 ($1,350) or more, way in excess of its typical £450 ($499) recommended retail price. As soon as a new batch arrives with a retailer, the item sells out again, causing fury for avid gamers keen to get their hands on the latest technology.
But Sony is not giving up. In a bid to restock the UK with this popular gift, the company has chartered flights on Boeing 747s from Korean Air to restock the UK’s shelves in time for Christmas. Speaking to the Sun, a Sony spokesperson said,
“A phenomenal operation has been under way to stock UK shelves of PS5s for Christmas. Sony just wants to keep fans happy after a slew of issues with its new kit, and this is an unprecedented airlift.
“The 747 plane is rare after being decommissioned by British Airways, but carries a vast amount of cargo as a freighter aircraft. Each plane can bring in 100 tonnes of equipment on almost 50 pallets. It means millions of gamers will now be smiling this Christmas.”
The shortage has been caused by a combination of external forces, including higher than expected demand, a global shortage of computer chips, a short supply of shipping containers, and backlogged ports worldwide.
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Four flights so far
So far, four Korean Air 747s have touched down in the UK – two last week, one on Monday and the most recent yesterday, November 4th. Yesterday’s flight took off from Seoul mid-morning Korean time, flying for more than 11 and a half hours to get to London Heathrow.
According to the Sun, the 747 was packed out with almost 50 pallets of the PS5 onboard. To get the console off the plane and out to retailers around the country, 12 huge articulated lorries were used. Each truck could only take four of the three-meter-wide monster pallets.
Apparently, at least one more 747 will be arriving from Korea with the PS5 onboard. The efforts of Sony are starting to pay dividends. The Sun reports that, last month, only four stores received new stock of the console. In the past couple of weeks, 13 retailers have got their hands on stock, including John Lewis, Amazon, and Argos.
Sony has already sold a staggering 13.4 million PS5 consoles since its launch a year ago, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation in history. While airfreighting the goods like this will help retailers get more presents under the tree in time for Christmas, it could result in a dry period over the new year as supplies revert to shipping by sea.