On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the national carrier to be placed in urgent business rescue, again thrusting the national airline into the spotlight.
Here is a timeline of how SAA got here:
Strike and grounded flights
Earlier last month, the embattled airline saw immense damage to its reputation, operations, and finances when Trade unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) announced they would ground SAA flights, to oppose possible job cuts.
This after an announcement by the airline that about 1,000 employees could be affected by a restructuring process.