For Cathay Pacific net profit for 2009 came in at $606 million. Fuel hedging in particular helped the airline to offset a fall in revenue of almost a quarter over the period. This compares with a loss of $1.2 billion in 2008.
Despite the profit, Cathay said it was cautious about prospects for 2010.
The airline said, "The global economic slump last year resulted in extremely challenging business conditions for Cathay Pacific Group and commercial aviation in general.
Chairman Christopher Pratt said. "In addition, the cost of fuel, which rose steadily from the middle of 2009, remains stubbornly high and threatens to undermine profitability."
BBC News reported that according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata), 2009 saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era. It estimated that airlines collectively lost $11 billion.