Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) may seek a bailout from the Qatari government if the ongoing blockade of the country by neighbouring Gulf and Arab states persists, CEO Akbar Al Baker has told The Telegraph.

"At the moment I don’t need it, but if this blockade continues then I’m sure that the government will be prepared to inject capital because Qatar Airways is a very important economic tool," Al Baker said.

The carrier has been struggling to cope with the effects of the blockade, imposed in June 2017, after it was suddenly forced to cancel all services to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt. In addition, as these states have closed their respective airspaces to Qatar-registered aircraft, many of the airline's flights are now forced to take longer flight paths.

Al Baker added that in light of the peculiarity of the situation Qatar Airways finds itself in, the possible bailout should be no reason to reignite a dispute with the US government and major US carriers over state subsidization. He underlined that it would not be a form of hidden state support, which, he claimed, Qatar Airways has never received.

Short of disclosing any exact numbers, Al Baker has admitted previously that the airline would post a "very large loss" for the financial year ending March 31, 2018, mainly due to the adverse effects of the blockade.