Former Bmi chief Wolfgang Prock-Schauer is taking over as chief executive of Air Berlin.

He replaces Hartmut Mehdorn, who has been in the position on a transitional basis since September 2011.

The airline’s chairman, Hans-Joachim Körber, said: “With Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, the top position at Air Berlin will be taken over by a respected expert in the airline industry, who has extensive experience in international management.

“He will continue to promote the process of change and, as chief executive, take responsibility from the start for the planned two-year ‘Turbine’ turnaround programme and press ahead with the decisive reorganisation of the company.”

Prock-Schauer said: “Air Berlin is facing huge challenges. We must continue to push our process of change forward rapidly to become lean and smart, so that we can be successful in the global competitive environment.”

He has held the post of chief strategy and planning officer on the management board of Air Berlin, and he will continue in this role until further notice.