BOSTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N> said its new, larger 747-8 freighter jet won the approval of U.S. and European safety regulators, clearing the way for the new aircraft to go into service.

Both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency approved the new aircraft, which is 16 percent larger than its predecessor, the Seattle-based company said on Friday.

Cargolux <CLUX.UL>, Europe's largest all-freight customer, is Boeing's initial customer for the jet, which has engines made by General Electric Co <GE.N>.

The iconic 747 is Boeing's most recognizable airplane and was the world's largest plane until 2005, when EADS <EAD.PA> unit Airbus unveiled its A380.

(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)