Legal & General has closed a deal to insure £4.4 billion of British Airways' historic pensions liabilities, the insurer said today. 

The transaction will cover about 22,000 pensioners in the largest ever bulk annuity policy arranged with a UK pension scheme, the insurer said.

L&G's chief executive Nigel Wilson said that further transactions are planned in the next few months to remove legacy liabilities. 

"The second half of 2018 is likely to be a record six months for our PRT [pensions risk transfer] business," he said in a statement. 

British Airways, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, is among a number of large British companies that have big pension deficits and are looking to reassure investors about large sums owed to former workers. 

The airline-sponsored pension scheme said the L&G deal will cover about 60% of all pensioner liabilities. 

Virginia Holmes, chair of the scheme trustee, said it was the latest in a number of insurance arrangements made by the scheme to reduce risk and increase security for members. 

"Today's announcement is the culmination of much hard work undertaken over several months and we are pleased to be taking this step in the scheme's de-risking journey," she said in a statement.