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Newest Airbus jet takes first flight amid high demand for A320neo's fuel economy

  • The new Airbus A320neo takes off for its first test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Airbus sent its new A320neo jet up for its first flight Thursday amid growing demand for the single-aisle plane, a more fuel-efficient version of Airbus popular A320 mid-range jets. The A320neo or “new engine option” incorporates an engine that uses less fuel and sharklet wing tips that also help deliver fuel savings. (AP Photo/Frederic Lancelot)

    The new Airbus A320neo takes off for its first test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Airbus sent its new A320neo jet up for its first flight Thursday amid growing demand for the single-aisle plane, a more fuel-efficient version of Airbus popular A320 mid-range jets. The A320neo or “new engine option” incorporates an engine that uses less fuel and sharklet wing tips that also help deliver fuel savings. (AP Photo/Frederic Lancelot)  (The Associated Press)

  • The new Airbus A320neo takes off for its first test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Airbus sent its new A320neo jet up for its first flight Thursday amid growing demand for the single-aisle plane, a more fuel-efficient version of Airbus popular A320 mid-range jets. The A320neo or “new engine option” incorporates an engine that uses less fuel and sharklet wing tips that also help deliver fuel savings. (AP Photo/Frederic Lancelot)

    The new Airbus A320neo takes off for its first test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Airbus sent its new A320neo jet up for its first flight Thursday amid growing demand for the single-aisle plane, a more fuel-efficient version of Airbus popular A320 mid-range jets. The A320neo or “new engine option” incorporates an engine that uses less fuel and sharklet wing tips that also help deliver fuel savings. (AP Photo/Frederic Lancelot)  (The Associated Press)

Airbus has sent its latest jet up for its first flight above the skies of southern France, amid high demand for the single-aisle A320neo and its promised fuel economy.

The planemaker has already taken more than 3,000 orders for the A320neo, a revamped version of its best-selling A320 range of jets.

The A320neo — or "new engine option" — incorporates an engine that uses less fuel and sharklet wing tips that help reduce fuel needs. A320s are mid-range jets that generally seat up to 180 passengers.

The plane took off and landed safely in a test flight Thursday in Toulouse.

Airbus on Wednesday raised its long-term forecast for new airplane demand, predicting that airlines will need 31,400 new aircraft over the next 20 years — with most being single-aisle.