Trade union Solidarity has announced its intention to initiate a court process to have South African Airways (SAA) placed under business rescue.

In a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan‚ the union expressed its concern about the national air carrier‚ saying SAA’s management and financial models were unsustainable and ineffective.

Werner Human‚ Solidarity’s deputy CE‚ said on Sunday that the auditor-general had stated in his recent report that substantial uncertainty existed as to whether SAA would be able to continue as a going concern.

Ramaphosa‚ Nene and Gordhan have have said some tough things about the airline and have undertaken to turn it around.

"At present‚ there is no other choice but to privatise SAA‚ at least in part‚" Human said.

"Solidarity invites the president and ministers to support its application to place SAA under business rescue‚ and will reveal its legal strategy regarding this process on this coming Thursday‚ April 12‚ during a press conference‚" Human said.

The airline is forecasting a loss of about R4.8bn in 2017-18 and about the same in the 2018-19 financial year, but sees a sharp improvement in the 2019-20 financial year as the effects of its turnaround strategy kick in.

SAA foresees a return to profitability in 2021.

Earlier in April, SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana said the airline was not attractive for any strategic partner and would need to transform, which would take two or three years.