Missoni scion on plane missing in Venezuela

Vittorio Missoni, wife Maurizia Castiglioni and four others were aboard the plane.

Associated Press

Vittorio Missoni, wife Maurizia Castiglioni and four others were aboard the plane.

CARACAS, Venezuela — Rescue crews used boats and aircraft on Saturday to search for a small plane that disappeared off Venezuela carrying the CEO of Italy's iconic Missoni fashion house and five other people.

But more than a day after the BN-2 Islander aircraft disappeared from radar screens on its short flight from the Venezuelan resort islands of Los Roques to Caracas, no sign of the plane had been found, officials said.

''We have no other news" about the plane carrying 58-year-old Vittorio Missoni, the head of the company; his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni; two of their Italian friends; and two Venezuelan crew members, said Paolo Marchetti, a Missoni SpA official. He spoke briefly to reporters as he left company headquarters in the northern Italian town of Sumirago on Saturday afternoon.

Missoni's younger brother, Luca, who is active in the family-run business, was reportedly traveling to Venezuela on Saturday to monitor search efforts.

Search teams were using a plane and a helicopter, working together with the Venezuelan coast guard, Venezuela's National Civil Aviation Institute said in a statement Saturday.

The twin-engine plane had enough fuel on board for a three-hour flight, said Francisco Paz Fleitas, president of the civil aviation agency. Paz said the plane took off at 11:39 a.m. on Friday and had been expected to arrive at Caracas' Simon Bolivar International Airport 42 minutes later.

The civil aviation agency said the authorities declared an alert after the plane didn't make contact with the control towers at the Caracas or Los Roques.

Vittorio Missoni is the eldest son of the company's founder, Ottavio, who at 91 still follows the business.

The Missoni fashion house, with its trademark zigzag and other geometric patterns in sweaters, scarves and other knitwear, is one of Italy's most famous fashion brands abroad. It is scheduled to display its latest menswear creations at a fashion show in Milan this month.

Vittorio Missoni played a key role in marketing the Missoni family creations in Asia, especially in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea the United States and France.

Missoni scion on plane missing in Venezuela 01/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:11pm]

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