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

We had so much fun!

Mike was our guide. So friendly and informative. Many times he'd turn the lady in our headphones off and narrate himself, which was better. Other times he was just quiet and let us enjoy the incredible beauty that is Misty Fjords on our own.

For us this was definitely once in a lifetime and we enjoyed every minute. The flight. The water landing where we were allowed to stand on the pontoons and breathe in the beauty. It was a wonderful experience and one we will never forget.

Molly D. - Colorado

Absolutely stunning views

This tour actually was our back-up choice, and I have to say I was very pleased. The views of practically virgin forest and mountains were breathtaking. Taking a ride in a piece of history was also fantastic. The DeHavilland Beaver is the workhorse of the Pacific Northwest, and the opportunity to take the tour in this plane was great. We took off and landed on the water. We were in the air for about an hour and got to enjoy an all-you-can-eat crab leg feast at the conclusion of this tour. Pricey, but would absolutely do again.

Kevin M. - Florida

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

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

Beaver!

These planes are such a great part of history and very well maintained- I loved the views and the pilots talks- the music in the headphones was great too- I would do this every chance I could- don't miss it!

Brickchick16 - Florida

WOW – WOW – WOW – This was my #1 excursion during my 7-day Alaskan cruise

We did the Misty Fjords tour. Family of 5 (mother, father, kids - 11, 7 & 5). We were fortunate and had the plane to ourselves (plus the pilot). It looks like the plane would hold 7 people + pilot. One passenger rides, "shotgun" in the co-pilot seat. We had a large group go, and they even took a 1-year old up.

You meet at their, very comfortable, building, watch a safety video, then are escorted to the dock by your pilot to your plane. Our pilot, Brentwood, was very experienced, safe, knowledgeable, and really engaging. I felt incredibly safe. I think the planes are powered by 9-cylinder engines. LOTS of torque. I couldn't believe how effortlessly the plane got airborne.

You fly about 30 minutes out, land in a remote lake, walk out onto the pontoons for about 15 minutes, then take off and fly back to the dock.

We flew at 3K feet. The views were beyond words. "Stunning, beautiful, breath-taking, spectacular", I could go on and on. I will never forget this excursion.

Some of the views may make the queasy a little shaky, but the experience will be worth it. Even though you're flying at 3K feet, some of the mountains you'll fly over will look like you're clearing them by only a couple hundred feet. Flying into the valley to land on the lake made my wife a little uneasy, but she was happy to do it.

Our 5-year old son fell asleep ten minutes into the trip. He never woke up for the landing/take-off on the lake, or the landing back by the dock.

Mark - North 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

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

WHAT FUN!

I absolutely loved flying over the mountains to a hidden lake. One of the best experiences ever. I liked it even better than the helicopter flight. Fabulous views.

PGAFLA - Florida

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
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