The aim of this study was to determine and identify bacteria inhabiting the supply chain of an airline's drinking water using phenotypic and 16S rDNA sequence-based analysis. Water samples (n = 184) were sourced from long-haul and short-haul aircraft, the airline water source and a water service vehicle. In total, 308 isolates were characterised and their identity determined, which produced 82 identified bacterial species belonging to eight classes: ¿-Proteobacteria; ß-Proteobacteria; a-Proteobacteria; Bacilli; Actinobacteria; Flavobacteria; Sphingobacteria and Cytophaga. Statistical differences in bacterial diversity were found to exist across sampling locations (X2 = 39.220, p = 0.009) and furthermore, differences were observed (X2 = 15.475, p = 0.030) across aircraft type (long- or short-haul). This study demonstrates the diverse nature of microorganisms within the aircraft drinking water supply chain. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most extensive study undertaken to date of microbial diversity in aircraft drinking water.