In advance of its formal takeover of BMI British Midlands International, British Airways has begun talks with labor groups over staff reductions that will see around 1,200 jobs eliminated and 1,500 positions taken over.

The bulk of the job losses will come at BMI’s headquarters and at regional airports. In announcing the labor discussions, which began April 12, BA says it “will also be working on potential job opportunities with industry partners in the Midlands, such as Rolls-Royce, and will look to create jobs at its engineering facility in Glasgow from January 2014 when the contract for BMI aircraft heavy maintenance work outside the U.K. expires.”

BA is acquiring BMI from Lufthansa. It notes that “discussions with potential buyers for [low-fare unit] BMI Baby and BMI Regional are continuing.” Lufthansa is trying to unload BMI Baby before the likely closure of the sale around April 20 or the German company will have to discount the amount BA has to pay for BMI.

The 1,500 positions that are expected to be retained include 1,100 pilots, cabin crew and engineers and London Heathrow, with 400 more passenger service jobs at the BA hub.

Airline CEO Keith Williams that “as we look to restructure the [BMI] business and restore profitability, job losses are deeply regrettable but inevitable.”