Chicago ranked second on Cvent's 2013 list of the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the U.S. Chicago advanced from the third position the year before, surpassing Las Vegas. Cvent, a leading event management platform, evaluated nearly 5,700 cities in its network, and rankings were determined by a set of qualifying criteria that included total room nights, unique request of proposals received and percentage of qualified meeting venues.
Hainan Airlines made its inaugural flight from Beijing to Chicago on September 3, introducing a brand new international carrier to the Chicago market. The new route will initially operate two times weekly on Tuesday and Sunday using a 288-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Hainan plans to introduce a B787 Dreamliner on the route starting November 10, making it the first international flight operated by the company's new aircraft. On December 10, the Chicago-Beijing service is scheduled to increase to four times weekly. With the new service, O'Hare not has 44 weekly passenger flights to China.
The Chicago Department of Aviation and the General Directorate of State Airports Authority of Turkey joined forces by signing a "Sister Airport" agreement, committing the two authorities to work together to strengthen air service, trade, tourism and cultural links between Chicago and Istanbul.
Local officials broke ground on the new Cermak Green Line station, an effort meant to energize the area around McCormick Place and provide additional transportation options for the Near South Side. The future station will be the 146th CTA station, and construction is expected to be done by the end of 2014.