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

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

Beautiful Trip Courtesy of Mike and Taquan Air!

This excursion was fantastic so leave behind your fear, your land-bound fellow travelers, your shopping bags stuffed with cheap apparel and see unspoiled nature before it is sold back to Russia. You'll see trees, and lounging seals and teal water that will make you put down your camera. Just sign up now and then come enjoy.

Before traveling, we tried to determine at what time of day to go. We had unusually sunny weather, but anytime you can see a decent distance will be rewarding. The company is concerned for their guests and so they will plan a flight that is both safe and will best allow them to show off the landscape.

Our pilot was Mike, and we appreciated his friendly and subdued manner. He left the landscape do most of the talking as he navigated us up toward the low-hanging cloud layer in and out of the sunlight. He took us on a wonderful flight over Ketchican and Misty Fjords that produced memories and photos we won't forget. Plus, he let me fly the plane for a little while and after checking everyone was buckled in, let me do a barrel roll before buzzing a cruise ship. Someone almost hit us with a daquiri or pina colada on my second pass but they were too frightened to aim properly.

Just kidding. Mike was a responsible pilot and did his best to make us comfortable. Now, for those of you who don't like rough flights, neither do I. That said, there may be bumpiness. The take off and landing part is actually fairly easy. It is hard to tell when the pontoons actually lift off and landing involves almost no braking, (unless you landed in a swimming pool.) Also, if you do have some sort of problem there are about 400 places to land, unlike planes with wheels which don't do as well landing on water.

Once airborne, you are unlikely to experience the big drops of a jet aircraft, but then again the plane does move. If the potential of small turbulence this is going to ruin your trip or someone else's, stay in your cabin or hotel room. In fact, that could be slightly uncomfortable, too so just stay home or try some other calmer or safer state like Kansas or something. Or you can suck it up and be the envy of your friends when you show them a picture of your hands on the yoke, horizon upside down with the caption: "I just want to you to know we're all counting on you. So good luck." Again just kidding. Mike flies the plane. You operate the camera and hope he had the fish.

So yes, the ride can be mildly bumpy, but it is totally worth it. Do keep in mind that there are things out of their control. For example, if the pontoon is attacked by a shark or if the weather is bad. Our trip was diminished by slow and inconsiderate guests. This isn't ship cabin fever talking: there was a family of six with two people in wheelchairs and they moved faster and more efficiently than some of the others in the group. Some people showed up late for the shuttle while others didn't show up at all. So we got to the airport...seaport...aquaport, well whatever we got there late. Even so, the fools who had gone up earlier had too so they were just getting back and left us no time time to land. Even though we were in danger of missing our departure from Ketchikan, we watched from the bus as a bunch of half-drunken hags, more suntan than human, stood around outside taking pictures while staff with forced smiles tried to corral them on board. It looked like clowns herding rodeo cattle, except the cattle were wearing the makeup.

Anyway, we made it. And it was beautiful and a great experience, despite not being able to land. And although I didn't wrench the controls from Mike and flyover Creek Street screaming the Top Gun theme song out the window, I really enjoyed this and would definitely go again.

Devin P. - Maryland

Awesome customer service. Great tour!

Flew on a sightseeing and crab dinner combo. The flight was great. Top notch operation. Safety minded. The crab was delicious even though there was less room in the dining hall than there was in the float plane. The bus drive back from the dinner was also a lot a fun as the bus driver, a young lady from Arkansas, was something of a comedian.

Scott A. - Michigan

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

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

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 BLACK BEARS TOUR !!!!

OMG !!!!!!!!!!!! What a professional group, best excursion of our cruise trip. The pilots, planes, bus driver and staff ... A+++++++ Allie our Bear guide was the best, very friendly and knowledgeable about Alaska and the bears. Would highly recommend seeing Alaska via a sea plane.

DHALL0519 - KANSAS

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

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

GREAT SEAPLANE RIDE WITH BEAR VISIT TO ANAN CREEK

Incredible seaplane ride with a great pilot (very informative). The highlight was going to Anan Creek and seeing the bears feed on salmon. They are literally 2-3 ft away (you are on a deck overlooking them).
My kids (ages 22-28) wanted to see bears on our trip and we saw at least 10 of them. It was early in the season, so bears were not guaranteed. We hoped to see brown and black bears, but only saw black ones (and no cubs) but still well worth the trip. We booked on our own way ahead of the cruise as there are only so many permits issued a day in the area (6 on our day, and 2 were already taken). The seaplane ride takes about 30 min each way and is beautiful. Then you get out with a guide and do a short hike (15-20 min) to the ranger station at Anan Creek--need to be able to walk a mile over rocky terrain. You are there approx 2 hours seeing all the bears up close (approx 30 are there at a time when we went from other AK cities). It was really a once in a lifetime experience. Highly recommend!

NAXCEL - VERMONT
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