The tattoo was done by New York artist Bang Bang, who told TMZ it was "the most difficult tattoo I've ever done for sure," due to formidable turbulence on the flight. The artist said he believes the ink job was at the highest altitude ever for a tattoo.
Bang Bang, who's a favorite of Rihanna, Katy Perry and more, also noted that Bieber sent him a text later that sort of explained his reasoning behind getting the cross.
"Forgiveness is powerful, forgive as Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins," it reportedly read.
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According to a spokesperson for the FAA, tattoo practice onboard an airplane is not illegal, unless it infringes on the safety of passengers and crew.
The tattoo can most recently be seen in a post late last week on the singer's Instagram, found below.