Alkan Air was formed in 1977 by Barry Watson and two Whitehorse businessmen, Win and Joe Muff. It was named in honour of the famous Alaska Highway or Al-Can Highway which skirts the City of Whitehorse. Hugh Kitchen became a partner in 1987 when Messers Muff decided to sell their stake in the company in order to start a telecommunications business in Whitehorse.
The company began by operating a Cessna 206 on floats/skis and a Cessna 337 on wheels. Expansion soon followed. By 1987, when float and ski operations were discontinued, Alkan Air was one of the main providers of scheduled service in the Yukon. In the early 1990s, the company gradually phased out scheduled flights in order to focus on charter operations. High performance, pressurized Beech King Airs were introduced in 1994.