About

The Taquan team
embodies Alaska

Who we are and more

Who we are

The name Taquan, meaning “village by the sea” in the Tsmishian native language, has been synonymous with aviation in Southeast Alaska for almost 50 years, and is recognized as one of the most successful floatplane operations in Alaska.

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

The highlight of an amazing trip!

It was a little disorganized and I was unhappy that they refused to transport my mother’s wheelchair on the bus. However, our pilot was just fantastic!! This should not be missed. The views are just incredible.
I also left a cell phone behind and they retrieved it for me. A+

Luanne S - South Carolina

UNFORGETTABLE

Despite a fear of heights and, therefore, a degree of pre-flight nervousness this was an experience I would not have missed for the world. A sunny, clear day, magnificent scenery and a great pilot in John.

David D - United Kingdom

Great Alaskan Experience!!

We recently traveled to Ketchikan by Cruise ship and booked an excursion which included all you can eat crab legs and the George inlet Lodge and then had the chance to fly back to town, over the mountains in one of these planes! The scenery was beautiful!! We also had the Alaskan experience of a water landing which was really cool as well! I would highly recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to fly in a sea plane cause it truly is worth your time and money!

Jolene M

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 BEAR TOURS – GREAT FLIGHT AND WE DID SEE A COUPLE OF BEARS

We were sailing Carnival and next to last port of call was Ketchikan. We opted for the Neets Bay Bear Watch or tour...
When we arrived to the float plane port, Taquan airlines was our carrier.
Great pre-brief. If you have a camera back pack.. they might ask you to leave it there.. locked up. It will depend on type of airplane, amount and weight of passengers and ultimately the pilot. I had been briefed prior to and didn't take mine but mounted the large lens on the camera and had the smaller lens in my coat.
Pilot was great and described the flight and scenery the entire time we flew out and back.
It was a very hot day.. and low tide.. .the group before us told us they didn't see any bears.. Our guide told us it was iffy. We did see a few bear caves and marks where they climbed the trees. When we arrived at the fish hatchery... there were no bears and we waited and waited.. I did get a few good shots of eagles looking for a free lunch. Someone told our guide that there was a mother bear and cub on the way back down the trail. (short hike out and back by the way)... We found the bears and the guide made sure we stopped at 3 - 4 places to get good shots.
No one can control the: weather, tide, and bears... so be prepared for anything or nothing. Flight out and back was phenomenal. The pilot even offered to take pictures of us beside the airplane.. Great time.. thank you..

KLLDZR69 - ARIZONA

Great experience!

This was a side trip from the Alaskan cruise in late August. Larry our pilot was very knowledgeable and asked if we had a veteran in our group of 6. I'm a navy vet, female, and 74 and he invited me to sit in the co-pilot seat! He had to help hoist me up there and down again and was extremely polite and respectful! I didn't take photos because I didn't want to miss any of the sights. The tour was exciting as I had never been in a seaplane before. Would definitely recommend it as a once in a lifetime experience.

Johnie R - Arizona

Fantastic tour!

This is a floatplane tour and it was so incredible! Our Pilot (tour guide) Larry was very informative and had a sense of humor. It was a beautiful day and we saw no mist to get in the way of the beautiful views. We were supposed to land at a dock in the fjord, but it was full, so I thought we were at another dock when he landed the plane. But no way, we got out to stretch our legs on the floats! What a great way to spend the morning! He kidded around with one of the fearful passengers, and interacted with another about plane stats all along. He told us a lot about the natural aspects and the history of the area. It was an informative and viewable tour. Thanks Taquan Air!

dpmc2015 - California

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 Adventure

Excellent, Amazing experience, your pilots will make you feel comfortable on your smooth ride to Neets Bay and we were blessed with an appearance of 6 bears and many eagles. Definitely worth the price! We booked through our cruise ship. Bring camera with telephoto lens, good walking/hiking shoes. We viewed the bears for about an hour. Approximately 25 minute fight to the area. Overall about 3-3.5 hours for excursion. They do have a salmon hatchery, which is the main operation for the site, it feeds the stream the bears search, so likely for bears to make an appearance but no promises are made. About 1/4 mile easy walk from floatplane dock to bear viewing. Bathrooms are available.

mandi1972 - Wisconsin
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