Update - from Cleveland.com on 4/30/2010:
Ohio told Continental this week that the state wants to help the carrier keep jobs in Ohio and create new ones -- regardless of what happens in Continental's merger talks with United Airlines.
Continental and United are expected to announce Monday that they have agreed to create the world's largest airline -- a global network that some worry will have less future use for the Continental hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Continental and its regional partners handle two-thirds of the passengers flying into and out of Hopkins. They employ a combined 3,200 workers at the airport.
Gov. Ted Strickland spoke with Continental CEO Jeff Smisek by phone and "communicated the importance of Continental to Cleveland as a major employer and as a transportation hub," Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst wrote in an email.
The state has a number of incentives it might offer, but Continental's attention right now is on 11th hour merger negotiations with United. Continental's board is expected to vote Sunday on a merger deal. The boards of both airlines reportedly met Friday to discuss final details of an agreement.