|Operating bases||Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base|
|Parent company||Venture Travel, LLC|
|Headquarters||Ketchikan, Alaska, USA|
|Key people||Brien Salazar, CEO|
Taquan Air is the operating name for Venture Travel, LLC, an American regional airline headquartered in Ketchikan, a city in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Alaska. It operates domestic scheduled passenger and charter services. Its base is Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base, which shares the same harbor and airspace as Ketchikan International Airport. As per the United States Department of Transportation in a report dated August 2, 2010, Taquan Air is a "U.S. Certificated Air Carrier", and is 1 of 125 such carriers in the US.
Taquan Air's heyday was in 1997 when they were the largest floatplane company in the world and the second largest air commuter service in Alaska, carrying 243,000 passengers that year. In a continuing effort to grow, they sought FAR part 121 certification, allowing them to carry more than nine passengers on a flight. They achieved certification and began flights in 1998, but the costs of the new venture and economic factors led to the sale of assets and layoffs in 1999. New ownership in 2000 kept the company name alive, and Taquan remains known for their floatplanes.
Taquan Air's flight schedule provides for the delivery of US Mail, and includes service to the fourth-largest island in the US, Prince of Wales Island; and the easternmost town in Alaska, Hyder. An accident in 2007 associated with a raincloud has led to the installation of weather cameras throughout Alaska. Taquan Air, along with other Ketchikan flight services, provides "flightseeing" tours over pristine Misty Fjords National Monument, and bear viewings within the Earth's largest remaining temperate rainforest, Tongass National Forest.
- 1 History
- 2 Small Business Person of the Year for Alaska, 1990
- 3 Medallion Foundation awards and Sen. Ted Stevens
- 4 Investigation of Misty Fjords National Monument air-tour-route accident
- 5 Misty Fjords flightseeing
- 6 Fleet
- 7 Destinations
- 8 See also
- 9 Aerial photos and maps
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Taquan Air Service Inc.
The airline was established as Taquan Air Service Incorporated in August 1977, and started out flying an air taxi service between Ketchikan International Airport and Metlakatla on Annette Island. By 1989 the company was flying seven airplanes with 45 employees, and by 1997 28 planes with 175 employees.
Kootznoowoo Inc. 50% owner
1997 was the year that Kootznoowoo Inc., an Alaska Native Village Corporation for Angoon, became 50% owner, and the same year that the company appeared on the cover of Alaska Business Monthly. At that point they were flying to 30 destinations, they had hubs in both Ketchikan and Sitka, and by flying to British Columbia, they had become an international air carrier. Taquan was now the largest floatplane company in the world, and the second largest commuter airline in Alaska, having boarded 243,000 people in 1997.
This was when Taquan decided to expand from FAR 135 air taxi operation to FAR 121 airline operation. After spending a year to become FAR 121 certified, and buying a couple of British Aerospace Jetstream 32's, the new service was branded as AirOne. The mayor of Juneau helped launch the new venture in March by dedicating one of the planes as The Spirit of Juneau. AirOne commenced operation on June 1, 1998, and began non-stop service from Ketchikan to Juneau. Another route connected Canadian Airlines' hub at Prince Rupert Airport in British Columbia with Alaska Airlines' flights at Ketchikan.
But Taquan Air experienced its first fatal crash with a passenger in August 1998. A new CEO was chosen for Kootznoowoo in July, who had to deal with a "precipitous decline" (Juneau Empire) in the company's outlook. The new CEO foreshadowed future events with the announcement at the shareholders meeting in October 1998, "there is less capital available for new investments." The costs of FAR 121 certification and a slump in the lumber industry led to the AirOne operation ceasing on February 14, 1999. Taquan Air liquidated assets and closed their Sitka hub.
Kootznoowoo Inc., acquired full ownership of the company on November 1, 1999, and at the end of December 1999 laid off most or 80 of their workers along with stopping flights to 20 communities. The downsizing at Taquan Air dampened the regional economy. The Juneau Empire wrote about the economic effect on Prince of Wales Island (pop. 6000), which is the fourth-largest island in the US,
The loss of Taquan flights comes at a bad time for Prince of Wales Island, said Tom Briggs, city administrator for Craig. State ferry service for the island was recently reduced to one day a week to save money. "Without a reasonable transportation base, the island's going to be damaged, the economy's going to be damaged and lifestyle's going to be damaged," Briggs said...Blood samples taken at the clinic must be thrown out if they can't get to the lab in Ketchikan on time...The Craig City Council is asking the governor for assistance in the form of increased ferry service.
Flights continued only for government contracts while the ownership looked for a buyer, which occurred in April 2000 (see below). By 2001, Kootznoowoo had divested all of its operating companies, including both the aviation and the timber businesses, and had become a holding company.
Venture Travel LLC
The general manager for Taquan between 1997 and 2000 had come on board when Taquan acquired the assets of his family's business, Ketchikan Air. He now created a company Venture Travel, LLC. Venture Travel, LLC acquired assets from Taquan in April 2000, including five planes, the name, and the lease in Ketchikan. Taquan Air gained business with U.S. Postal Service contracts for mail routes serving Hyder, Hydaburg, and Behm Canal. Scheduled passenger flights resumed in 2001, also, the airline was awarded the U.S. Forest Service Air Service Contract in both 2000 and 2003 and continues to hold a U.S. Forest Service contract. In October 2007, Taquan moved into a new terminal and hangar building, close to the east terminus of the ferry to the Ketchikan International Airport. The company is now flying to 16 destinations.
Small Business Person of the Year for Alaska, 1990
Taquan Air first moved into the spotlight in 1990, when the company's growth and development led to the owner's selection as Alaska Small Business Person of the Year, a selection made by the Alaska office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. In May 1990, the owner was honored in Washington, D.C. at the White House.
Medallion Foundation awards and Sen. Ted Stevens
Taquan Air participated in a voluntary industry effort in Alaska to improve airline safety called the Medallion Foundation awards. Senator Ted Stevens (R, Alaska) was a decorated World War II pilot who later became floatplane qualified, and who was instrumental in establishing and providing congressional support for the Medallion Foundation. By 2009, Taquan was one of seven airlines out of 37 operating in Alaska to receive all five stars in the program. Senator Stevens presented awards to Taquan in 2005 and 2008.
Investigation of Misty Fjords National Monument air-tour-route accident
On July 24, 2007, a Taquan Air tour flight, operating a float-equipped deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver (N995WA) and carrying the pilot and four passengers from a cruise ship, impacted mountainous terrain with no survivors. An estimate is that in 2007, 900,000 cruise-ship tourists visited Ketchikan. At the time of this accident, Taquan had commitments regarding sightseeing with each of the cruise lines serving Ketchikan. According to the AP, the cruise line that had booked the tourists severed ties with Taquan after the accident for the remainder of 2007.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the accident and issued a report on July 31, 2008, finding that the primary cause of the crash was pilot misjudgment, but that inadequate supervision of the flight tour industry in southeast Alaska by the Federal Aviation Administration also contributed to the event. The Board issued four recommendations. The first of these four recommendations, A-08-59, was to install weather cameras on the air tour routes within the Misty Fjords National Monument. Recommendation A-08-60 was to establish monthly ground and en route inspections of air tour flights to observe and enforce safe flying practices. Recommendation A-08-61 was to develop cue-based training for commercial air tour pilots in responding to changing local weather conditions. A-08-62 first needed the completion of A-08-61, and recommended that pilots be required to take the training.
Initial plans were to install 139 weather cameras in Alaska by 2014.
Misty Fjords flightseeing
Taquan Air is one of several local services to provide air tours of the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument. These flights are associated with the cruise line industry that brings close to a million tourists each Summer to Ketchikan with its 7,000 residents. Adventure guide Inside Passage and Coastal Alaska states, "One of the amazing things about floatplanes is just how smooth <takeoffs> are...unless you're looking out the window and see that there isn't a wake from the floats anymore, it's hard to know you're even in the air." The air tour typically takes two to four hours. The tour goes from seashore up into the mountains and back, during which time the floatplane lands on water in a remote area, and tourists step out on the plane's pontoon.
- Ketchikan (WFB) – Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base (FAA: 5KE)
- Coffman Cove (KCC) – Coffman Cove Seaplane Base
- Craig / Klawock (CGA) – Craig Seaplane Base
- Deep Bay / Moser Bay (KMY) – Moser Bay Seaplane Base
- Dora / Cholmondely Sound (DOF) – Dora Bay Airport
- Edna Bay (EDA) – Edna Bay Seaplane Base
- Grace Harbor (GHR)
- Long Island (LIJ) [seasonal]
- Hydaburg (HYG) – Hydaburg Seaplane Base
- Hyder (WHD) – Hyder Seaplane Base (FAA: 4Z7)
- Metlakatla (MTM) – Metlakatla Seaplane Base
- Naukati (NKI) – Naukati Bay Seaplane Base (FAA: AK62)
- Point Baker (KPB) – Point Baker Seaplane Base
- Port Protection (PPV) – Port Protection Seaplane Base (FAA: 19P)
- Thorne Bay (KTB) – Thorne Bay Seaplane Base
- Whale Pass (WWP) – North Whale Seaplane Base (FAA: 96Z)
- Babe Island (BAI)
- Bell Island (KBE) – Bell Island Hot Springs Seaplane Base
- Devenney's (DIV)
- Bear Valley Lodge (BVL)
- Calder Bay (CLB)
- Hollis (HYL) – Hollis Seaplane Base
- Neets Bay [seasonal]
- Saltry Cove (SLY)
- Sunny Cove (SNC)
- Tenass Pass (TPY)
- Yes Bay (WYB) – Yes Bay Lodge Seaplane Base (FAA: 78K)
Aerial photos and maps
- "Route Map. Taquan Air - service to 18 communities" (1.6M). Ketchikan, AK: Taquan Air. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Google (February 24, 2011). "satellite view of Taquan Air". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Contact Us." Taquan Air. Retrieved on November 21, 2014. "Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air 4085 Tongass Avenue Ketchikan, AK 99901"
- "Cert Carrier List 8_2_2010". Department of Transportation. August 2, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Ketchikan International Airport. Airport services links.". Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "City of Ketchikan. Community links. Transportation links.". City of Ketchikan. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Taquan Air History in Aviation". taquanair.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
Taquan, meaning "village by the sea" in the Alaska Native Tsimshian language
- Jan Norman (1 July 2004). What no one ever tells you about starting your own business: real-life start-up advice from 101 successful entrepreneurs. Kaplan Publishing. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-0-7931-8596-2. OCLC 63693006. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
By 1989, Taquan Air was the second largest air taxi service in Alaska, with seven aircraft, 45 employees, and $2.1 million in sales.
- "Kootznoowoo, Inc. Governance.". Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Taquan Air spreads its wings. (Alaska)". Entrepreneur reprint of Alaska Business Monthly. July 1997. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
...second only to Anchorage's Era Aviation in terms of passenger count for small, scheduled air-carriers...
- "ABM 1997". Anchorage: Alaska Business Monthly. 2004. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
September 1997 COVER: 1997 NATIVE CORP REVIEW - Matthew Nikolai, Calista Corp., Will May, Tanana Chiefs, Jerry Scudero, Taquan Air pictured on the cover
- Nicole A. Bonham, dateline Ketchikan (March 1998). "New commuter airline for southeast.". Alaska Business Monthly. Entrepreneur.com reprint. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
Altogether, Taquan Air is considered the world's largest floatplane operator.
- Rob Stapleton (July 21, 2000). "New owner hopes to return Taquan Air to its glory days". Taquan Air reprint of Alaska Flyer. p. 38. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Juneau Empire Online Archive Business Spotlight: Business briefs 3/31/98. Kootznoowoo will dedicate plane.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. March 31, 1998. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
The Spirit of Juneau, one of the airplanes to be used in the new regional airline, AirOne, was to be dedicated today by Juneau Mayor Dennis Egan at a special ceremony at Juneau Airport.
- "Juneau Empire Online Archive Business Spotlight: Business briefs 3/10/98. Taquan offers new flights.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. March 10, 1998. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
AirOne will begin service May 1 between Ketchikan and several cities including Junea, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka and Klawock on Prince of Wales Island.
- "State and local briefs. New air carrier starts flying.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. June 3, 1998. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
A new regional air carrier began service Monday...
- Ketchikan(AP) (August 12, 1998). "Review finds no obvious problems in fatal crash". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
The company said it was the first fatal accident involving a passenger in 21 years.
- Mike Rogoway (July 16, 1998). "New CEO chosen for Kootznoowoo, Inc.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
Declining timber sales, from a depressed market and depleted timber on Kootznoowoo's lands, have caused a precipitous decline in the corporation's fortunes.
- Mike Rogoway (October 13, 1998). "25 years of Kootznoowoo". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
Smith told shareholders the current downturn in the timber market comes at a particularly bad time for Kootznoowoo. It means there is less capital available for new investments..."We have already distributed most of our wealth from timber," Smith said...The recent decline in the fish market has left Angoon's economy in tatters...
- Mike Rogoway (June 9, 1998). "Tightening the belt". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
...the timber market is poor right now...Jack Phelps, executive director of the Alaska Forest Association...transportation companies..have...been hurt by the village corporations' downturn...The effect is very widespread," Phelps said.
- Timothy Inklebarger, Associated Press (July 26, 2005). "Treetop excursion zips tourists through Alaska's forest canopy.". USA Today. Gannett Co. Inc. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
Ketchikan economist Kent Miller said jobs in the wood products industry have dropped from 903 in 1996 to 139 in 2004.
- Paysha Stockton and Kristan Hutchison (February 14, 1999). "AirOne closes up shop after eight months in Southeast". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
'...traffic has gone well below the traffic we projected for the fall and winter season,' Laurance said...Profits were solid when service began last June...
- The Associated Press (September 28, 1999). "Sitka. Taquan Air will cease Sitka flights". Juneau: Juneau Empire. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
Taquan Air Service is shutting down its Sitka operations at the end of this month.
- Svend Holst (November 3, 1999). "Kootznoowoo buys other half of Taquan Air". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
The board of directors of Kootznoowoo Inc. decided to buy the second half of Taquan Air Service, a company the corporation half owned since 1997.
- Mike Stewart (September 5, 2000). "Kootznoowoo turns losses to profits. Village corporation pulling out of timber, airlines for real estate.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
...in late 1999...Kootznoowoo purchased controlling interest in Taquan Air.
- Joanne Erskine, editor, Rachel Baker, Labor Economist (May 2000). "Employment Growth Forecast. Alaska Economic Trends. Volume 20, Number 5. Southeast Forecast. Air transportation will dampen growth.". Juneau: Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Alaska). p. 21. ISSN 0160-3345. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
Other carriers will try to fill the gap in flight services, but these small carriers probably will not replace all 80 jobs cut by Taquan.
- AP (May 11, 2000). "Ketchikan businessman buys Taquan Air". Kenai: Kenai Peninsula Online. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Kristan Hutchison (January 6, 2000). "Regional flight service slashes 80 employees, most of its runs. Cuts are intended to keep Taquin flying.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- Joanna Markell (May 27, 2001). "Goldbelt struggling, but making progress". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
Alaska Cruises: The Ketchikan-based tour company experienced difficulties in 2000 after a good 1999 season because of Taquan Air's bankruptcy.
- Staff (February 18, 2000). "Sale likely, air service chief says (snippet)". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
...lodge owners and cruise lines are looking for other ways to transport their clients after the virtual shutdown of Ketchikan's largest local air carrier.
- Melanie Plenda (August 1, 2001). "Kootznoowoo Corp.'s new leader takes the reigns [sic]. Latest decision finalizes restructuring.". Juneau Empire. Juneau Alaska, Morris DigitalWorks & Morris Communications Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
<In 2000> the corporation...put...$1.3 million in escrow to finalize the liquidation of Taquan Air...
- "Top 40 under 40: Brien Salazar". AllBusiness, a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet, republication of Alaska Journal of Commerce. November 24, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
Salazar grew up in his family's aviation business, Ketchikan Air, which operated for more than three decades.
- "Keynote speakers rich in knowledge, history". Alaska Journal of Commerce. February 12, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
<Michael Salazar, father of Brien Salazar was> president of Ketchikan Air Service Inc. from 1969-1997...
- "Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska. News: Forest Service awards new air contract to Taquan Air". Ketchikan: www.sitnews.net. April 23, 2003. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Scheduled flights and route map for Alaska's inside passage. Service to 18 communities.". Taquan Air. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- "Federal contracts to Venture Travel LLC. FY 2000-2009, summary.". U.S. Census Bureas's Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS). OMB Watch. March 18, 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
- "Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Ketchikan International Airport ferry.". Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Annual SBA award". Alaska Business Monthly, Vol. 6 Nbr. 10,. TheFreeLibrary.com reprint, originally published by Alaska Business Publishing Company, Inc. October 1990. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
Frank Cox, SBA's Alaska director, says Taquan air's founder was selected on the basis of his company's growth and development.
- United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Small Business (1995). Entrepreneurship in America: Alaska's small business environment : field hearing before the Committee on Small Business, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, August 17, 1995. U.S. G.P.O. p. 11. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
I was flown along with other SBA state and territorial award winners to Washington D.C. to be honored in SBA functions and a visit with President Bush.
- Richard Harding (Winter 2010). "Safety is not a four-letter word". Medallion Foundation newsletter. Anchorage: Medallion Foundation. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
<Sen Stevens> was the one that convinced congress to provide funding for our Medallion Foundation
- Rob Stapleton, Anchorage Aviation Community Examiner (designated blogger) (August 15, 2010). "Stevens flight an irony of errors?". Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
Stevens was a decorated C-46, C-47 pilot during the WWII, who recently got his float rating...
- "Alaska Briefs. Medallion Foundation awards air carriers for safety.". Alaska Journal of Commerce. Anchorage: Alaskan Publications, Morris Communications Company. August 28, 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
Sen. Ted Stevens presented Medallion Foundation Awards to several Alaska air carriers...
- "Stories in the news. Taquan Air Recognized". SitNews, Stories In The News. Ketchikan: sitnews.us. August 31, 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
Senator Stevens (left) and FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell (right) present the Medallion Shield to Taquan Air president and CEO Brien Salazar. Photograph courtesy Alaska Air Carriers Association.
- Anchorage(AP) (July 25, 2007). "Victims on Alaska plane crash identified - USATODAY.com". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Lostflights Historical Aviation Studies and Research. The Airline: Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air is the successor to Taquan Air Service, Inc.". SmugMug, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
Taquan Air is recognized as one of the most successful floatplane operations in Alaska.
- Mark V. Rosenker, Chairman (July 31, 2008). "NTSB Safety Recommendation, A-08-59 through -62". National Traffic Safety Board, US Government. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- "Southeast Alaska's Island News - Google News Archive Search. Taquan Air moves and grows". Thorne Bay, Alaska: Google reprint of Southeast Alaska's Island News. April 2, 2007. p. 7. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Couple dies in crash on vacation". Jacksonville, Florida: Florida Times Union. July 26, 2007. p. 7. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Associated Press (July 25, 2007). "Pilot, four from Seattle-based cruise die in Alaska plane crash". Seattle Times. Seattle: The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
The cruise-ship company has cut off Taquan Air tours at this time, Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson said in a prepared statement.
- James Halpin (August 15, 2008 (modified April 18, 2010)). "Tour flight supervision inadequate". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved February 28, 2011. Check date values in:
- Ed Readicker-Henderson; Lynn Readicker-Henderson (15 November 2005). Adventure guide Inside Passage and Coastal Alaska. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-58843-515-6. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
Misty Fjords Flightseeing, run by Taquan Air...has been running trips into Misty forever.
- Matt Hannafin; Heidi Sarna (October 20, 2009). Frommer's Cruises and Ports of Call 2010. Frommer's. p. 599. ISBN 978-0-470-49735-7. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
Everyone gets a window seat aboard the floatplanes that run these flightseeing jaunts over mysterious, primordial Misty Fjords National Monument...
- "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information". Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Aircraft Detail". Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Taquan Air's inside passage flight schedule: Summer 2011". Taquan Air. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Taquan Air's scheduled flight rates. Scheduled flight rates, Effective June 25, 2008.". Taquan Air. Retrieved 7 February 2011. - source for airport codes
- "Flightseeing tours & scheduled flights in Ketchikan and Alaska's Inside Passage. (Taquan Air official site).". Taquan Air. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Brian Johnstone (photographer) (2 July 2005). "N1018A - Taquan Air - De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver. Ketchikan Harbor - Seaplane Base (WFB), United States. (photograph)". planespotters.net. Retrieved 3 March 2011.