Pope Francis has paid tribute to journalists killed during the Ukraine war, saying he hoped God would reward them for serving the common good.

Speaking to journalists aboard the plane returning from Malta, Francis also repeated that he was ready to make a trip to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but added that things were still "up in the air" and he had to decide if it would be feasible.

On his way to Malta on Saturday Francis said a trip to Kyiv was "on the table".

The pope spoke to journalists aboard the papal plane

"I would like to express my condolences for your fallen colleagues, whatever side they were from," he told journalists on the plane.

"Your job is a job for the common good. They have fallen in service of the common good of information. Let's not forget that they were courageous. I pray for them, I pray that the Lord rewards their work."

Yesterday, Pope Francis was handed a photo of Irish cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed last month outside Kyiv, as well as a letter from his family.

The pope commented on the photo, saying in Italian: "He is up there."

At least six journalists have now died since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February.

'I have a duty to tell their story' - Pierre Zakrzewski