Trade union Solidarity wants the courts to place SAA under business rescue.
JOHANNESBURG - Solidarity filed a case on Thursday asking a court to subject SAA to business rescue, with the aim of restoring it to profitability.
Solidarity said it would "mean that the court can appoint a business rescue practitioner with comprehensive powers to rescue the airline."
Trade unions at SAA said they would continue talks with the airline on Thursday aimed at ending a week-long strike over wages and job cuts that has brought the national flag carrier to the brink of collapse.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), which have been leading the strike, said in a statement that they hoped to find an acceptable compromise in the talks with SAA.
SAA has nearly no cash left and may miss salary payments this month. The carrier's swift decline has turned it into a black hole for government bailout money, with some R20-billion being spent on it in the past three years.
Its operations are marred by an unprofitable international route network and a fleet of inefficient planes.
The airline said on Thursday it would suspend all flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong from 23 November up to and including 14 December to curb significant financial losses on the route.