Last month, the Export-Import Bank of China said it would provide state-owned COMAC with $7.9 billion in finance for its aircraft projects. However, most of the C919’s critical systems including engines and avionics are being supplied by Western companies or foreign-Chinese joint ventures. For the instant, the manufacturer has orders from 21 customers for a total of 517 aircraft, mostly from Chinese carriers. Development of the C919 began in 2008. It is due to fly next year and enter service in about 2019. “China’s air transport industry cannot completely rely on imports. A great nation must have its own large commercial aircraft,” the country’s civil aviation chief Li Jiaxiang told.