Friends of mine often ask me about the safety level of various airlines (I’ve mentioned this before) and I always say that airlines (save for a handful in Africa) are universally safe. I also usually add that just because an airline flies from a country that seems sketchy does not mean that their airline is sketchy.
It turns out that just because you fly an airline from a wealthy country, it doesn’t mean that the airplanes have been well inspected. SAS, the Scandanavian carrier, flew ten planes last year that were supposed to have been grounded for safety inspections. The problems with maintenance are being blamed on a subcontractor, but that shouldn’t make you feel any better about flying on an aircraft that is past its safety inspection date.