About

The Taquan team
embodies Alaska

Who we are and more

Who we are and what we are about

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.

Our commitment to the community and environment

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.

Taquan Air has been certified under the Adventure Green Alaska program. This is a voluntary program for Alaska tourism businesses that meet economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. We are committed to preserving our great State and are conscientious of our footprint, not just on the memories of our guests experience, but also to the impacts we have on our environment.

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

Misty Fjord Tour – Great

Tour of Misty Fjord by float plane (arranged through the cruise ship). Arrived at facility, received a safety briefing from the pilot. Recorded commentary provided on the flight as well as information from the pilot. Landed on a “lake” in the fjord. We were able to step out on the floats for a brief time (10 minutes) for pictures. Then we headed back to Ketchikan. Felt quite safe all of the time. Flight stayed at about 800 feet, good enough to see a flying eagle.

mdcwa - Washington

NEETS BAY BEAR WATCH & FLIGHTSEEING – INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE!

he Neets Bay Bear Watch & Flightseeing tour was one of the highlights of our cruise on the Star Princess. The entire experience was well-organized and well-executed.

My wife and I started the tour by meeting a representative from Alaska Shore Tours (Taqan Air Tours) on the pier just a few steps from our cruise ship. She was holding a sign with the excursion code clearly visible so we knew without a doubt that we were in the right place.

We were directed to a waiting bus, which was a very short walk from where we met the first representative. Once everyone attending the tour was loaded, we were driven to the marina where the planes were docked.

They presented a safety video and then directed us down a ramp onto the dock where the plane was waiting. Our pilot helped us onto the plane, checked to make sure everyone was properly buckled in and showed us how to use the headsets. He started the plane, taxied into open water, and then we took off.

This was our first time flying in a float plane. Takeoff and landing were quite smooth compared to typical wheeled planes. Seeing such a beautiful area from a relatively low altitude (compared to commercial jets) was amazing! The area around Ketchikan is so beautiful.

After a 20 minute flight, we arrived at Neets Bay. Our guide met us on the dock and gave us a short safety talk about how to behave around bears - what to do and what not to do. Then he led us up a ramp to a woodsy area. We were immediately able to see a marshy area with at least 2 dozen eagles.

The guide took us down a short trail and pointed out many signs of bear activity - scat (feces), claw markings on trees, and several plants that the bears had eaten. At the end of the trail (about 1/4 mile) was an open area with the fish hatchery.

Just as our group arrived at the fish hatchery, we heard muted "oos" and "ahhs" from another two groups that had arrived before us - bears! There were 2 bears within 50 yards, one was climbing into a spillway next to a waterfall and the other was a bit further downstream. We quickly grabbed our cameras and started making photos and videos. Just a few minutes later, we saw another adult bear and two cubs a bit further down. The bears picked several salmon out of the spillway and stream. (I'm sure people who see this every day may laugh at my amazement, but for someone who has never seen a bear outside of a zoo this was quite breathtaking!)

After quite a while of watching the bears and some nearby eagles, we (sadly) made our way back down the trail to the dock for our flight back the marina and bus ride back to the pier.

I'm sure you can tell from my description - we REALLY enjoyed our experience and would gladly do it again! Highly recommended!!

MARK J. - KENTUCKY

Highlight of our Alaska Tour

Of all the things we looked forward to on our Alaska trip, the floatplane tour was in the top 3, actually #1 on my husband's list. Larry, our pilot, did not disappoint. What a great personality. He engaged each passenger with easy banter and his narration was perfect. Loved the music and of course, the magnificent scenery you can only see this way. My husband has a few mobility issues and Larry went out of his way to help him in and out of the plane. Great pilot, great tour. Everyone should do this!

meandrjlowman - Greenwood, DE

Neets Bay float plane and bear watch

Brilliant trip to Neets Bay with Taquan Air tours! Booked as an excursion from celebrity cruise - not cheap but this one was worth it. Exhilarating flight in a float plane piloted by Harry, provided stunning scenery and gentle landing at Neets bay. Guide Joshua was interesting and informative leading a short walk to a viewing spot where 8 bears in total were playing in the water and fishing for salmon. Over a dozen bald eagles were there too. Not rushed and plenty of time to grab a photo-zoom recommended. Return flight equally as good over mountains wear you could make out mountain goats. Great trip.

Tommo13 - UK

Neets Bay Tour

Excellent tour to Neets Bay and salmon hatchery. Saw bears, eagles, seals, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Beautiful scenery on flight and at tour location. Knowledgeable friendly and professional staff, guides & pilot. Highly Recommend!

LD808213 - California

A Highlight of our Alaskan Adventure

My family and I took a float plane over the Misty Fjords during our cruise through the Inside Passage of Alaska. My parents, husband, kids (6 & 9) and I all agree that this experience was one of the best memories of our trip.

The views are things that you only see on postcards. Evan, our pilot, was friendly and provided us a nice balance between telling us about the National Park and giving us time to take in the sights. My 9-year-old son was thrilled that he got to sit in the “co-pilot’s” seat and Evan was very kind in making him feel important.

We landed on a floating dock about half way through our flight and were able to get out and take in the beauty that surrounded us. Evan was nice enough to offer to take many pictures of our family that are now framed in our house.

If you are lucky enough to spend some time in Ketchikan, I would absolutely recommend a Taquan Air Tour.

Leah Linden - Pennsylvania

Great overview of region

This was the first excursion we did in Alaska and I thought it was a great way to start our Alaska experience. Our pilot Harry was great, very interesting and thoughtful for our comfort and safety.

Operationhappytravel - Redondo Beach, CA

Bear Guide

We had a great tour. The pilots were fabulous and Allie was a phenomenal bear guide. Thanks for a great tour and I would recommend to others.

Andrea K

Fabulous Experience

Booked through Holland America and well worth it. Our pilot, Larry, went out of his way to put a nervous passenger (me!) instantly at ease and provided an unforgettable two hour trip which my husband and I would highly recommend and would repeat in a heartbeat if ever in Ketchikan. Fabulous scenery, wonderful background narration by Larry (which included a great selection of music) plus great chat from Larry. Landing in the Fjord was so special and tranquil. (PS. Larry gives great hugs too!)

mandkburles - London, United Kingdom

Our Misty Fjords Flight Was a Thrill of a Lifetime!

My husband and I always wanted to take this tour, and it was on our bucket list. While visiting family in Ketchikan, we were able to take this flight. The pilot, Clark Hassle, was friendly, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. His piloting skills were the best we ever experienced. We hardly felt the plane land on the glassy, glacier lake. The scenery was totally breathtaking. This flight is worth every penny as you will see the beauty of Alaska from a viewpoint you cannot get any other way but by flight. Taking a float plane is a fun experience as well. My husband and I highly recommend this flight for all ages. However, be sure you book with Taquan Air as they have the best safety record and best pilots in Ketchikan.

JUDY H. - TEXAS
Join Our Community