Southwest cancels more than 50 flights after Chicago Midway tower closes

FILE PHOTO: A Southwest airplane sits on the tarmac in Austin, Texas, U.S., March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co LUV.N said Wednesday it is canceling more than 50 flights after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended the shutdown of the air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway International Airport following reported coronavirus cases.

The FAA on Tuesday closed the tower at the airport after three technicians tested positive for the coronavirus and will not reopen until at least Thursday. The tower is undergoing a deep cleaning, the FAA said. Flights are operating at a slower than normal rate.

Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul