The Nintendo Switch released nearly two months ago and is still near impossible to find due to high demand and not enough stock to fulfill that demand so far. The day one stock was very limited, with most of them being allocated to pre-orders. While it was very difficult to find one at launch, it sounds like it could have been absolutely impossible with probably some pre-orders not being fulfilled if not for an interesting decision by Nintendo.
In an article from the Wall Street Journal, it was revealed that Nintendo actually utilized planes to ship Nintendo Switch units for the first month it was on the market. Originally set to ship only two million Nintendo Switch units in the first month, Nintendo ended up upping that to 2.74 million for the month in the end. As a result, they ended up shipping some units by plane, though not all of them were done this way.
Items like this are typically shipped by sea freight due to the high cost of shipping by plane, but Nintendo evidently saw the need for this early on. Specifically, this report says that shipping by plane could cost about ¥5,000, or about $45 extra. With other reports saying how little margin Nintendo has between the cost to manufacture the Switch and the cost they are selling it for, adding in the shipping could definitely be a bad thing.
A Nintendo representative says they moved back to the regular sea freight shipping method for the month of April, but it is possible that they could use planes to ship additional units due to the demand still exceeding the supply at this point. Even if Nintendo is having to pay extra for the shipping, it’s definitely a wise decision to keep up the stock replenishments to where more people can get the system in their hands with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe already out on the system and upcoming games like Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey set to come later this year.