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

Amazing trip.

We did a sea plane tour of the misty fjords during our Disney cruise recently, culminating in a crab feast at the George Inlet lodge. The float plane part of the experience with Taquan air was amazing, and felt completely one of a kind. Taking off and landing on water is an experience in itself (if you have never been on a floatplane before like my family). Scenery was amazing, the staff were friendly and every passenger on board throughly enjoyed the WHOLE experience.
The only thing that stopped this review getting 5 stars is the pilot did not really communicate with us during the flight. The headphones played music and a running commentary on board, which was fair enough and quite interesting. However when we landed and disembarked the pilot asked us "Did you say the family of bears on the ground??". None of us had (too much else to see)....so we all were thinking why didn't he point them out to us while flying.
Apart from that he was very professional and friendly and made my son feel very special helping on and off the plane (a big over the shoulder carry as he disembarked which brought a HUGE smile).
I would recommend Taquan air tours without question. A flight with them will definitely be a highlight of your Alaskan vacation.

Bruce D. - Canada

This was our favorite trip after 9 days traveling Alaska!

I just wanted to message to say how great Ed, the pilot and Mark, the guide were when we took the float plane to see the bears catching salmon. Mark spotted three whales and pointed them out - he made the flight a real adventure both ways and was polite but funny. Mark was great, especially when there were no bears at the site when we arrived. He spotted them arriving so we could watch their progress to the river. Enthusiastic and informative, even at the end of the season.
This was our favorite trip after 9 days traveling around Alaskan lodges (including Denali) and a week on the ship.

Thanks guys!

Holly and Simon Dancer UK

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

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

Best Flight Ever

Our pilot was very competent and we had great confidence in his ability, especially since he informed us that he served in the Middle East and worked on his own plane. I was given the privilege of riding up front.

Bob K - Florida

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

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

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

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

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
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