About

The Taquan team
embodies Alaska

Who we are

We’re locals who are passionate about sharing all that we love about Alaska. We hire and train our staff for exceptional customer service and keep our state-of-the-art equipment up to the highest standards for safety. So, you get authentic Alaska, by those who love her.

Taquan Air has been serving Southeast Alaska for more than 40 years and is recognized as one of the most successful floatplane operations in Alaska, due to our safety culture and commitment to customer service.

Our history

Taquan Air has been faithfully serving the communities in and around Ketchikan for more than 40 years.

  1. The first DeHavilland Beaver is flown and recognized as one of Canada's ten greatest engineering achievements in the past 100 years.

  2. The final DeHavilland Beaver aircraft comes off production in Canada.

  3. Taquan Air Service Incorporated begins operations as a single aircraft carrier, owned and operated by Jerry Scudero, out of Metlakatla, Alaska.

  4. Taquan Air Service, Inc. purchases property in Ketchikan on Water Street.

  5. Kootznoowoo Corporation purchases 50% of Taquan Air Service, Inc. stock, enabling the carrier to purchase assets from Ketchikan Air Service.

  6. Taquan Air Service, Inc. sells off assets and streamlines operations.

  7. Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air acquires Taquan Air Service, Inc. assets and begins operations under the direction of President and CEO, Brien Salazar.

  8. Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air is awarded U.S. Forest Service Air Service Contract and acquires U.S. Postal Service contracts to serve Hyder, Hydaburg, and Behm Canal mail routes.

  9. "New" Taquan Air begins operating full service U.S. Mail and scheduled passenger flights in the Ketchikan area, including Prince of Wales Island.

  10. Taquan Air begins Kenmore Air six window seat modifications on DeHavilland Beaver fleet. All maintenance requirements are completed in-house by way of local labor.

  11. Taquan Air acquires and operates contracts with all major cruise lines for flightseeing tours, predominately during the summer season.

  12. Taquan Air fleet increases from 6 to 7 aircraft

  13. Taquan Air completes Kenmore six window seat modification on all 7 aircraft.

  14. Taquan Air registers to participate in the voluntary Alaska Medallion Foundation Safety in Aviation Program.

  15. Taquan Air is the first to adopt the FAA's Capstone Program and becomes the first floatplane carrier in Southeast Alaska to install state-of-the-art glass cockpit avionics navigation equipment in its entire fleet.

  16. Taquan Air completes first step in the Medallion Program by earning the Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) Avoidance Star.

  17. Taquan Air completes second step in the Medallion Program by earning the Operational Risk Management (ORM) Star.

  18. Taquan Air completes the third step in the Medallion Program by earning the Maintenance and Ground Service Star.

  19. Taquan Air completes installation of digital stereo sound systems in each aircraft and replaces all existing headsets with digital noise canceling headsets.

  20. Taquan Air completes its fourth step in the Medallion Program by earning the Safety Program Star.

  21. Taquan Air is recognized for being one of two Part-135 floatplane operators in the state of Alaska to achieve Four Star Rating in the Medallion Program.

  22. Taquan Air relocates from waterfront base at 1007 Water Street to the new 3.5 acre business park, Harbor Point.

  23. Taquan Air relocates for the last time at 4085 Tongass Avenue into a brand new, custom-built state-of-the-art terminal and hangar building.

  24. Taquan Air commences the 2008 season with a two day Grand Opening celebration at the new facilities. Events included a totem pole raising ceremony, native tribal dancing, and public barbeque. Hundreds of guests turned out to celebrate and congratulate.

  25. The fifth and final step in the Medallion Foundation program is completed with Taquan earning its Internal Audit Star. An audit is conducted to determine the company’s eligibility for the Medallion Shield.

  26. Company President Brien Salazar attended an awards presentation to receive the Medallion Shield plaque for Taquan Air.

  27. Taquan Air purchases Alaskan assets of Promech Air and expands fleet to 16 aircraft and two maintenance facilities.

  28. Taquan Air's fleet included 11 Beavers, 3 Otter, and 1 Caravan.

  29. Taquan Air's fleet included 11 Beavers, 3 Otters.

  30. Taquan Air's fleet includes 10 Beavers and 4 Otters.

Kawanti Adventures

Jump feet first into Alaskan adventures—with experienced guides excited to share it with you. Fly over fjords, zipline through the trees, see bears, and everything else Alaska has to offer.

DISCOVER ALASKA

The highlight of three weeks in Canada and Alaska!

Having travelled from Calgary to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer, then spent a week,on Vancouver Island, followed by a cruise to the Hubbard glacier and nearly back we little thought that the undoubted highlight of the trip was to be found in Ketchican.
I mean the place has 160 inches of rain a year for starters and having had the float plane rides at Juneau cancelled due to low cloud we expected the same at Ketchican.
Luckily we were wrong and put ourselves down for the Taquan Air Tours trip to the Misty Valleys. Initially down to fly on a larger float plane with a taped commentary we were part of a group of four at this the fag end of the season.
Our plane then was a De Havilland Beaver manufactured in 1956 according to Tony or Orville our pilot for the day. Tony was great, a local chap with a wealth of local knowledge. The best way to describe him would be to try and imagine a mix of Henry Fonda and Hawkeye Pearce.
After warming up the engine we were off. To say the scenery was fab would do him an injustice, it was soul searching. Scale and magnificence were there in buckets. He told us the fire service let out cabins in the woods in the area for the ultimate get away from it experience. He even landed on a mountain lake and we got some great pictures.
The time came and went all too soon, but the memory will last a lifetime.
So many thanks to the self proclaimed antique plane and antique pilot (not)!

Phil P. - United Kingdom

Wonderful experience!

This trip to Neets Bay was WONDERFUL!! Beautiful views the pilot talked away as we flew about the sights and history of the planes. We saw all the bears, the jelly fish and sea stars are on the dock. We got so close to the bears! They got us back safely and on time to our cruise ship!

steviechic66 - Nevada

Amazing adventure

Surpassed what we were expecting. A great way to see bears, bald eagles and the fiords from an aerial perspective. Well worth the money.

Nancy S - Canada

NEETS BAY BEAR TOUR

This was the highlight of my cruise to Alaska on Oceania Cruises! Great flight, lots of bears feeding at the hatchery and the best flight back to the dock. Our pilot, CHUCK, was the best!!! Thanks for making our trip to Alaska.

Margot H - California

Amazing Float Plane Trip. Very accomodating for handicapped person

The float plane ride over the Misty Fjords was incredible. One amazing view after another. Our pilot/guide, Mike Hudgins, was very informative and executed a flawless water landing on a large lake, where several of us got out and walked on the plane floats. A must do for anyone visiting Ketchikan.

I am handicapped. I walk with two crutches. Mike and his crew were very helpful and accommodating dealing with my handicap and enabling me to board and exit the plane, allowing me to enjoy this incredible experience.

Paul R. - Florida

Amazing flight

Fabulous flight with Larry! Incredible views and lots of laughs. Loved every minute of our tour from take off to landing!

Holly K - Pennsylvania

Our Crab Fest Flight was awesome!

We (2 adults & 2 10 year old boys) did the crab feast on our Disney cruise last summer. We booked the crab fest flight through DCL for our excursion in Ketchikan.
So glad we did. We were picked up at the ship and taken to their "air port"/docks.
Our pilot (I REALLY wish I had written down his name Dave or Dan maybe) was just AWESOME!
The office staff was so friendly and helpful as well.
My son still has the float planes he bought in the gift shop in his room.
We boarded our float plane and took off for the flight. Our son was even allowed to be the co-pilot!
Our pilot was so so knowledgeable during our flight and shared do much fantastic information on what we were seeing.
We arrived at George Inlet Lodge for our crab feast. (separate review)
If ever back in Alaska I would definitely book with these guys again for a tour!

Steph - Pennsylvania

ANAN CREEK BEAR VIEWING TOUR OUR OF KETCHIKAN – EXCELLENT FLIGHT, OUTSTANDING GUIDE

Last year, Taquan (pilot Dave and guide Mark Phillips) did an excellent job at getting us to Anan Creek. However, due to our ship's limited time in port last year, along with poor tidal conditions, we were not able to actually get to the trail head and take our tour. This year, we again booked our Anan Creek tour with Taquan and we were not disappointed. From the bus drive to their terminal, to their check-in and flight briefing process, to the flight itself, and to the tour guide - Taquan offers a safe, informative and exciting tour.

The check in and safety briefing process was thorough, yet efficient (quick). We met with our pilot, Eric, immediately after the safety briefing, and he walked us down the pier to our plane. Eric got us situated on the plane, and then our tour guide arrived. To our pleasant surprise, our guide from last year - Mark Phillips - was again our guide this year! Within a few minutes we were skimming across the water and taking off from Ketchikan. Eric provided some commentary on various landmarks while we were en route to Anan Creek, and Eric's 45 minute flight from Ketchikan to Anan Creek was smooth and comfortable. At one point as we got near Anan Creek, we encountered a rain squall, and Mark and Eric communicated and made some adjustments which ultimately allowed us to safely land at the Anan Creek landing site.

For any tourists taking a float plane to Anan Creek, it is important to be aware that at low tide there can be significant logistics regarding where/how you get to the Anan Creek trailhead. When we arrived at Anan Creek, it was low tide - and Eric brought the plane to a small dock that was far enough off shore to avoid grounding the plane. Taquan had arranged a small boat to transport us from the dock to the shore, and that worked out very well.

If you remember any tip from this review, it is this: if you want to avoid the potential hassles and delays of low-tide arrivals at Anan Creek by float plane, make sure ahead of time that your pilot knows to putter into the entrance of the creek where the water is deep enough (even at low tide) for any float plane to drop off passengers just below the ranger briefing station. It is not worth your time, or the risk of grounding, to make land anywhere near the docks or the hut.

Let me say here that our guide, Mark Phillips, was awesome. Mark was friendly, knowledgeable, and he has the experience of having flown out to Anan Creek multiple times in the past. Mark was able to provide direct in-flight guidance to our pilot when weather conditions got a bit hairy. And Mark takes safety seriously: we were in bear country, and after we made land then Mark unpacked and holstered a weapon and bear spray - which made us feel safe on our hike.

After we got on land, and after Mark made the preparations for our hike to the bear viewing area, we met with the ranger at the base of the trail and listened to a briefing. We then set out on the approximately two-thirds of a mile hike up to the bear viewing area. As we got underway, Mark guided us in the proper way to group ourselves in case we encountered a bear on the trail. And Mark also provided expert commentary on plants and wildlife that we encountered on the hike. When we arrived at the bear viewing area, Mark helped us get signed up quickly so that we could get a slot in the bear viewing blind, and Mark continued to provide awesome commentary about different bears and occurrences that we saw when we were up at the viewing platform. I can't say enough great things about Mark; we highly recommend him if you can get him for your tour.

Taquan runs a great airline, they employ an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff (including expert guides), and our safety was their priority from start to finish. Taquan ultimately provided us with a fantastic and memorable tour, and we highly recommend them for anyone looking to take a flight/float plane tour out of Ketchikan.

ABEATS - DOVER, NH

Misty Fjords Seaplane Excursion – Fantastic Experience

We booked very last minute through our cruise ship (Norwegian) because we hadn't really planned anything for Ketchikan and boy are we glad we did!
In reading the reviews I see a lot of complaints about waiting for the bus. I'll be honest and say that the tour had a "meetup" time of 10:30am, but the bus didn't show up until 10:45 or maybe even closer to 11, but I assumed that was deliberate to allow for stragglers/late-comers to make the pickup.
Once we got to the docks it was a pretty quick and efficient process. We were broken up into groups and assigned a pilot and then loaded onto the planes within 15-30 minutes. Our pilot had been flying for 40 years and provided both music and commentary as he flew us from Ketchikan through the mountains to their floating dock. We had a solid 15 minutes to admire the view and snap photos and then we loaded up and flew back.
My husband and I have both spent time in small planes working on our private pilot licenses and the pilot was quick to notice and offer us the front seat (one on the way out, one on the way back). Even though the plane is only rated for VFR, the pilot had the "glass cockpit" terrain/attitude and a collision avoidance TCAS (or something similar) displays as well which made me feel really good about the company's commitment to safety especially when flying so close to the terrain and with so much competing air traffic (there were 2 other planes that took off at the same time and another 2 to 4 in the area on our flight out).
The Havilland Beaver is the perfect aircraft for these sorts of tours given its capacity and they use the modified versions which include additional trapezoidal windows behind the rear windows so that everyone has a view. Such an incredible experience, hauntingly beautiful and very professional/safe. I recommend it!

Elizabeth N

FLOAT PLANE TO SEE BEARS

The bears and Salmon ladder are amazing- nothing like it. The float plane ride was very authentic and our pilot was right out of Northern Exposure. I would absolutely do it again. Our guide to see the bears was dedicated and very knowledgeable.

MICHELLE C
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