MIAMI — Delta top executives told the Salt Lake City Board members that it is planning to expand operations and services at Salt Lake City in the coming years on Wednesday. The north-central Utah city is considered to be one of Delta’s primary hubs and a “gateway” to the Mountain West.

By 2017, Delta plans to increase capacity at Salt Lake City by eight percent while increasing the number of departures one to two percent overall. The expansion will allow the city to become an “all 2-class operation,” according to Delta’s formal presentation. They also plan to connect Salt Lake City to new cities, including Milwaukee and Raleigh Durham.

Delta’s announcement comes as SLC completes upgrades to their access roads and parking facilities in preparation for a new terminal. They have also made a few minor upgrades to the existing terminals and concourses, including expansion of baggage claim facilities.

The decision is potentially another step on the ongoing west coast battle between the carrier and Alaska. Alaska Airlines created a small focus city in Salt Lake only one month back. Alaska presently only flies to Seattle from SLC, but by mid-June of 2014, it will launch new service from the city to Boise, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose.

Delta acquired the Salt Lake City hub in 1987 when it took over Western Airlines.