The pilot and airline responsible for the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni were not properly licensed, it has been reported.
The Italian fashion designer is the son of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, who set up the iconic fashion house. He has been missing since the plane carrying him and several others went missing off the coast of Venezuela on January 4.
New details about the incident have now emerged, with Italian newspaper La Repubblica calling in to question the credentials of those in charge of the aircraft.
According to the publication, pilot Germán Marchan's license expired on November 30 2012. He is 72 and it is suggested investigators have queried whether he was too old to be flying.
The newspaper adds the airline did "not yet have [a] regular air operator's certificate".
One of Germán's former colleagues has previously insisted he was perfectly able to helm the craft. "[He is] one of the most expert and respected pilots in Los Roques," Piergiorgio Serloni told Italian newspaper La Stampa.
The group were on a short flight from the Los Roques resort to Caracas when they disappeared and there has been speculation they might have been kidnapped.
It's been claimed they took off at 11.32am local time and after seven minutes either the pilot or co-pilot reported their location. After that no more was heard from the plane but data reportedly shows it flew 13.2 nautical miles before its speed dropped and it went off the radar.
Vittorio's family are remaining positive that he will be found alive, with his sister and fashion house creative director Angela Missoni going ahead with the planned men's show in Milan at the weekend.
The missing man's son Ottavio Missoni Jr. has called into question claims the plane must have crashed.
"I still believe that they’re alive, that the plane didn’t fall: there is too much evidence that lets me think like this," he said last week.
"I have been thinking of so many possible scenarios. But I remain convinced that the least plausible reason is that they crashed into the water."