What’s more, the man spoke in Arabic, telling police “there’s a bomb on board”, in the hope the threat would sound more convincing, La Stampa reported.
All passengers and baggage on board the Alitalia jet, which was scheduled to leave the northern Italian city for Rome at 9pm, were swiftly evacuated, and after an extensive search no security threat was found.
The man was arrested upon arriving at the airport.
It is unclear what level of punishment he now faces but in a similar case in France in May the culprit faced up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.
The 33-year-old man was arrested at Bordeaux airport, in southwestern France, after calling the airport alleging a bomb threat to delay a plane because his girlfriend was stuck in traffic.