Global freight tonne-kilometres fell 2.3% in March, though there was growth in the Middle East and Africa.
Figures released by IATA show that cargo volumes are now only 1.5% above a low recorded for October 2012.
Asia-Pacific carriers - the biggest players in air freight, accounting for 38.5% of the total market - suffered a 3.3% decline, while the figures for North American and European airlines were down 5.2% and 4% respectively. In Latin America, demand was down 0.8%. However, the Middle East and Africa bucked the trend, with increases of 10.5% and 3.2% respectively.
"The March decline in air cargo is most likely a temporary stall," argues IATA director general Tony Tyler. "The fundamentals for a sustained improvement in air cargo volumes are in place."