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 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

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

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

Fly me to the Moon, Larry

I can see that Larry has already been mentioned in previous reviews, but I have to add another because he’s quite simply a lovely man and excellent pilot.
I wasn’t the most confident flyer in my group but Larry’s approach was reassuring, kind and courteous. All in all a tip top gentlemen.
Oh the sights were pretty awesome too.

Lesley E - London

Learning to Fly!

This was an excursion booked through Holland America Cruise Lines and our first time on a floatplane. Our pilot Jim was filling in for one of the regular pilots due to the increased demand... and now we know why: Jim's timely narration combined with an awesome music selection provided the perfect backdrop for this wonder of nature. Everyone on the plane has a perfect window view for the scenery and a headset for the audio. The take offs and landings are some of the smoothest and coolest you will ever experience. We went on a warm and sunny day, so no special clothing needed. A floatplane adventure is simply a "must do" in this area and Taquan Air is amazing.

Jackson826 - Florida

Breathtaking views!

Weather was great, which provided a smooth ride. Loved the majestic views around every corner from our 6 seater seaplane, piloted by Harry, who was very personable and knowledgeable. We had never been in a small plane like this. It was a bit confining, so may not be a comfortable ride for a very tall or large person. We did have to disclose our weight and our party of 6 was split up between 2 planes to even out the load between planes, although they did keep couples together. Taquan Air was very accommodating, bringing a ramp to board the plane for my husband who wears a prosthetic leg. They also provided a golf cart ride for him back and forth to the plane, as it is a bit of a walk on inclined ramps, etc. Halfway through, we landed in the middle of the water and travelers could step out onto the pontoon! We thought it was worth the money and was a once in a lifetime type of excursion!!

latu2018 - Massachusetts

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

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

Incredible views over the Misty Fjords – Jim is the best!

We were lucky enough to come on a perfectly sunny day in Ketchikan, getting unobstructed views throughout the flight to the not-so-Misty Fjords. Everywhere we looked was beautiful - flying over the pristine lakes, passing right by New Eddystone Rock, even spotting a breaching humpback whale from above. Jim's water landings and take-offs were smoother than most commercial airliners, and his narration was fun and informative without being overwhelming. Overall, it was an amazing day, and we would definitely recommend this voyage to anyone.

Penny B

Fantastic floatplane experience!

This was by far the best trip of our holiday!
After a short safety video, we were taken to meet our pilot Chuck. We were in a 10 seater plane and it was free seating, we could also take on our bags. Some aircraft you are asked to leave your large bags locked up, in a cupboard!
Chuck was very informative during the flight there and back. We saw sealions and mountain goats as well as the spectacular views. On the return trip Chuck made sure that both sides of the plane had the same photo opportunities to take photos of the group of mountain goats and sealions.
Once we had landed we met with Joshua, who was to be our guide.
The group, that had just finished their trip were all grinning and said they had seen bears, good start!
It didn't take long, after our short walk, to reach the river that a bear came out of the woods, followed by a lot more, of all sizes and ages. We spent a good time just watching them catch and eat the salmon!
We saw bald headed eagles too!
There were four of us travelling together and we all agreed that this trip was the highlight of the holiday, so thank you Taquan Air, Chuck and Joshua, you are doing a great job!

Vivien B - United Kingdom
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