Flight Christmas:Tesco hires plane to bring in festive supplies
A Hercules freight plane has been hired by Tesco as the Lerwick store makes plans for bringing fresh supplies in.
It ran out of fresh produce early today and manager Paul Clelland started trying to other alternative arrangements when it became clear there would be no ferries sailing today.
He told The Shetland Times 11 wagons had been stranded at Aberdeen waiting for freight sailings. They are now heading to Livingstone where it is hoped the stock can be transferred to the Hercules and flown to Sumburgh tomorrow, for what is busiest weekend in the supermarket year.
He said: ” We had been planning on the assumption the boat was going to run tonight. We had even given a cautiously optimistic outlook.” When it became clear that was not happening he said the work began to find an alternative.
“It has been non stop. We had to start thinking about other options and possibilities because the forecast is not great.”
He admitted it was an expensive option but added: “It’s the right thing to do.”
If the plan comes off the plane is due to land at Sumburgh at 11am tomorrow before flying back south and stocking up again. It will then return to Sumburgh at 3.30pm.
Paul said a fleet of lorries would be waiting to transport the goods to Lerwick.
He said the fresh food aisles, including vegetables, meat and poultry and bread, were closed until more stock arrived, although the rest of the store is open as usual.
The rush had been one of the worst he had experienced. “When there is ferry disruption there is a bit of an uptake in food buying. Obviously because it is Christmas people are a bit more anxious.”