The Malta Independent 25 September 2018, Tuesday

Highflying Italian president of would-be Malta airline arrested

Sunday, 31 December 2017, 12:15 Last update: about 10 months ago

The president of a would-be Italian-Maltese airline, Fly Volare, was arrested this week as he was about to board a flight to the United Arab Emirates from Bologna.

The man, named yesterday in Italian media as Fausto Chiparo, is the president of Fly Volare, which has reportedly been seeking to purchase flight routes to and from the airport of Perugia.

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The 38-year-old from Parma, whose official residence is in Salzburg, Austria, was arrested by Modena's Guardia di Finanza in an anti-money laundering operation codenamed ‘Last Drink’, which followed on the heels of another operation codenamed ‘Barqueiro’.

The two operations stretched over a two-year period, with police having tapped close to 25,000 hours of telephone conversations, Italian media reported.

Fly Volare is based in Birkirkara and has an issued share capital of €1,200. Chiparo is the company’s sole director while the company’s sole shareholder is the Rome-based Blu Jet. He had a Bentley and other top end vehicles registered to his companies, which range from real estate to air transport.

The Italian authorities believe Chiparo worked together with a partner from Reggiano, identified as 55-year-old Luigi Predieri who lives in Portugal. The former had been arrested in July in connection with the suspected illegal acquisition of companies.

The pair are suspected to have worked together to take over companies, drain them of funds and bankrupting them for their personal benefit.  

The Italian authorities estimate that up to €35 million in company funds were siphoned off from different companies by the pair.

Fly Volare was purportedly to have had its debut in the third quarter of 2017 but the launch never materialised. The airline was to have been based at Perugia’s San Francesco d'Assisi Airport. In collaboration with several tour operators, it planned to operate scheduled and charter services from Perugia to regional destinations using an A319 aircraft. 

The Maltese-registered carrier was to have operated five domestic services to Milan, Lamezia Terme, Brindisi, Cagliari and Palermo and four international services to Amsterdam, Casablanca, Iasi and Cluj-Napoca.

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