Malaysia Airlines has announced chief commercial officer Paul Simmons is leaving the airline having joined from flybe earlier this year.

The southeast Asian carrier has named Arved von zur Muehlen as successor. He started in the role this week while Simmons, the former Flybe chief commercial officer, will leave the airline later this month.

Malaysia Airline’s chief executive officer, Peter Bellew, said: “On behalf of the management team, I am very pleased to welcome Arved to the Malaysia Airlines family.

“Arved will focus on developing a comprehensive and sustainable plan to improve Malaysia Airlines’ marketing, sales, products and customer service.

“He brings with him over 20 years of professional experience in the aviation industry and will add a valuable breadth of understanding across sales, marketing and technological innovation.

“Arved will play a crucial role in the next phase of the turnaround, focusing on restoring our position as a leading international carrier and developing our innovative customer centric services.

“He is a welcome addition to the team as we move forward with our global marketing strategy to increase sales and promote the wonders of Malaysia.”

Prior to his appointment, von zur Muehlen was the senior vice president of commercial network operations for Qatar Airways, responsible for global sales strategy and development as well as innovation and technology. He managed the roll-out of several successful projects, including the implementation of a new internet sales platform and booking engine.

Before that he spent four years with Swiss International Airlines as vice president sales international where he was responsible for sales and marketing across 18 online markets.

He also spent over 15 years with Lufthansa Airlines covering revenue management, sales and marketing and left the airline as managing director of Greater China.

Bellew thanked Simmons, who was previously easyJet director for UK market: “I wish to thank Paul for his contributions to Malaysia Airlines and I look forward to a smooth transition and working with Arved to continue the work began by Paul in the next phase of the airline’s exciting journey,” he said.