SA Express is nearing the end of its 26-year existence and is set to be the first state-owned enterprise (SOE) to be abandoned by a cash-strapped government that has run out of fiscal room for bailouts.

The airline, which owes creditors more than R2bn, was placed under provisional liquidation at the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday after its business rescue practitioners, Phahlani Mkhombo and Daniel Terblanche, argued that it had no prospect of survival.

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